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Kansas State dominates previously unbeaten Missouri

Jan 8, 2012 - 12:31 AM Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - There is one less unbeaten team in major college basketball.

Rodney McGruder scored 20 points and Will Spradling added 14, as 23rd-ranked Kansas State handed No. 7 Missouri its first loss of the season with a 75-59 decision at Bramlage Coliseum.

The Wildcats (12-2, 1-1 Big 12) bounced back nicely from a 67-49 setback at 14th-ranked Kansas on Wednesday and won for the seventh time in their last eight games. They'll get another crack at an unbeaten team in their next outing on Tuesday when fourth-ranked Baylor visits Manhattan.

"These were the two most difficult days of practice, we really got after it," Spradling said. "We competed and we held each other accountable, which we were not doing before. That toughness that we had in practice, we brought that to the game. I felt like Missouri has not seen a team that has got up and pressured them like we did today."

Missouri (14-1, 1-1) was off to its best start since the 1981-82 squad opened with 19 wins. The Tigers led only once, at 3-2, and were thoroughly beaten in almost every aspect.

Marcus Denmon scored 17 points for Missouri and Michael Dixon added 16 in defeat.

"Obviously, this is a tough game for us. They physically kicked us," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "I felt that the paint points, rebounding, their physical nature and our inability to shoot the ball well affected us on the defensive end. For the first time all year, we did not defend the way we needed to."

Kansas State shot 49.1 percent overall, including a blistering 58.6 percent in the opening half. The Wildcats also dominated the boards with 39 rebounds to Missouri's 25.

The Tigers, who led the Big 12 in scoring at 86.2 points per game entering the contest, shot a miserable 32.7 percent from the floor. They made just 5-of-22 shots in a dreadful first half.

After Matt Pressey's three-pointer gave the Tigers their only lead just under two minutes into the contest, the Wildcats answered with 10 straight. McGruder scored four and Spradling hit a three-pointer during the burst that gave Kansas State a 12-3 edge.

Two free throws by Dixon at the midway point of the opening half kept Missouri down just eight, but the Wildcats opened some breathing room with a 13-3 run. A three-point play by Jamar Samuels with just under five minutes remaining in the half left the Wildcats with a 35-17 cushion.

The lead reached 21 in the final minute before Kansas State took a 44-25 advantage to the break.

Missouri got as close as 52-39 with just under 12 minutes to play on a transition layup by Kim English, but Kansas State head coach Frank Martin took a timeout and his team responded with eight straight points to kill the Tigers' momentum.

McGruder scored six points to key the spurt before Denmon answered with a three-pointer for Missouri, but the Tigers didn't have another run in them.

Game Notes

Pressey finished with 11 points and English scored eight...Kansas State notched the 1,500th win in the program's history...The Wildcats have won 14 straight home games, matching the Bramlage Coliseum record set from February 17, 2009 through January 18, 2010...This was the first meeting between Kansas State and Missouri as ranked teams since January 30, 1982...The Wildcats improved to 118-116 all-time against Missouri and have won eight straight at home against the Tigers...Missouri will try to rebound on Wednesday at Iowa State.