Rodney McGruder led K-State in scoring with 20 points as the Wildcats handily beat the Missouri Tigers on Saturday. K-State took a big lead early in the first half and never looked back. Sophomore point guard Will Spradling hit some key shots and Junior center Jordan Hernriquez played well enough down low to help the Wildcats beat the previously undefeated Tigers. Missouri’s National Player of the Year candidate Marcus Denmon hit a couple threes early but was cold from then on.
K-State’s stiff defense took Missouri out of their offensive rhythm as the Tigers did not look like the same team that started 14-0. Kansas State looked great bouncing back from their embarrassing loss last Wednesday against Kansas in Lawrence. If the Wildcats can win a few road games in the Big 12 and most of their home games, they should finish no lower than 4th in the Big 12. Frank Martin should be commended for getting his team focused and ready to play against a top 10 opponent. Kansas State was ready to go at tip off and didn’t let up until the final buzzer. Although they lost pretty badly, Missouri should not be discouraged by this loss.
They faced a top 25 team away from home and were beaten by a team that has a much superior front court than them. Beating a team with a better front court on the road rarely happens in the game of college basketball, and that certainly was not the case today. I think the main thing you can take away from this game, as well as K-State’s loss in Lawrence last Wednesday, is that road wins in the Big 12 this year will be tough to come by. It might only take a 14-4 or 13-5 record to win the Big 12 this year.