Kansas State takes down No. 3 Missouri
Rodney McGruder had 14 of his game-high 24 points in the first half to help Kansas State deal third-ranked Missouri its first home loss 78-68 on Tuesday night.
Thomas Gipson finished with 13 points and Jamar Samuels added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats (19-8, 8-7 Big 12), who earned their first season sweep over the Tigers (25-3, 12-3 Big 12) since 2006-07.
The win, Kansas State’s second in four days against a top-10 opponent, should erase any doubt that the Wildcats are headed for a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. At 8-7 in Big 12 play, K-State is fifth in the standings — a full game ahead of Texas.
Missouri, meanwhile, jeopardized its chances of winning its first-ever Big 12 title. The Tigers are now a half-game behind first-place Kansas, whom they’ll play on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas State took a 40-30 lead at the half and quickly extended the advantage to 61-45 on McGruder’s layup with 12:31 left. The Wildcats, who shot 51.9 percent, made nine of their first 11 shots of the second half.
But the Tigers, as they usually do, stormed back late. They used a 15-2 run to pull within 63-60 with 6:43 left. K-State, however, hit big shots down the stretch — extending the lead to as many as 10 and hanging on to win by that margin.
Michael Dixon had a team-high 21 points for Missouri, which fell to 15-1 at home. Marcus Denmon had 19 and Ricardo Ratliffe added nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Tigers shot just 38 percent from the field and were outrebounded 34-27.