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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Short-Handed K-State Falls to Oklahoma State, 70-54

Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Oklahoma State rode the momentum of an 8-0 run to end the first half with a near flawless second-half shooting performance, as the Cowboys earned a 70-54 win over a short-handed Kansas State on Saturday night in front of a limited capacity crowd of 965 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.

Oklahoma State (8-3, 2-3 Big 12) connected on 56.3 percent (27-of-48) from the field, including 75 percent (15-of-20) in the second half, as the Cowboys ran their winning streak to 3 in a row over the Wildcats. OSU’s second-half field goal percentage tied for the seventh-highest by an opponent in school history.

Although K-State held the Big 12’s leading scorer – freshman phenom Cade Cunningham – to a season-low 5 points, four other Cowboys scored in double figures, including a game-tying 15 points each from junior Isaac Likekele and freshman Rondel Walker, while sophomore Kalib Boone added 14 points. OSU took advantage of the greater depth, outscoring the K-State bench, 33-6.

The Wildcats (5-8, 1-4 Big 12) played with the minimum number of 8 players, including 6 on scholarship, as injuries and unavailability continued to mount. The team played without its starting point guard Nijel Pack, who had a season-best 17 points at No. 18/19 Texas Tech on Tuesday, while they continued to be without season-opening game starters Kaosi Ezeagu and Montavious Murphy, who each missed their ninth games.

After Saturday’s game, seven different players have now combined to miss 41 games this season.

Due to the low numbers, senior Mike McGuirl and junior Rudi Williams each played the entire 40 minutes, while sophomore DaJuan Gordon and freshman Selton Miguel each registered 39 minutes of action. Freshman Davion Bradford played just 12 minutes due to foul trouble, which allowed sophomore walk-on Joe Petrakis to play a career-high 15 minutes of action.

The heavy minutes reflected in the Wildcats’ offensive play, as the team scored a season-low 54 points on 36.2 percent (21-of-58) shooting, including 25 percent (6-of-24) from 3-point range, and made just 6 of 12 free throw attempts. K-State was within 47-39 after a 3-pointer by Gordon with 10:27 to play, but the team couldn’t sustain any momentum as OSU continued its hot shooting en route to building as much as an 18-point lead.

McGuirl tied the game-high with 15 points on 5-of-13 field goals, including 3-of-8 from 3-point range, while Gordon collected his third double-double in the last 7 games with 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting with a game-high 11 rebounds. Williams had 9 points in his first career start on 4-of-9 field goals, while Miguel tallied 6 points and a game-high 7 assists. Petrakis scored his first career points with 6:13 left in the first half and finished with a career-best 6 points on 2-of-5 field goals, including his first 3-pointer, to go with 2 rebounds.

KEY STRETCH(ES)
Holding a narrow 23-22 lead with 3:34 before halftime, Oklahoma State got a jumper from sophomore Bernard Kouma that started a 10-2 run, including 8 in a row, to end the half. Junior Isaac Likekele and freshman Rondel Walker connected on back-to-back 3-pointers after a jumper by sophomore DaJuan Gordon closed the gap to 25-24, while Walker knocked down a pair of free throws that gave OSU a 33-24 advantage at the break.

K-State closed to within 39-35 on a 3-pointer by senior Mike McGuirl with 14:20 to play, but OSU responded with 6 straight points en route to a 16-6 run over the next 7 minutes to push the lead to 55-41 with 7:05 to play.

PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Senior Mike McGuirl scored a game-tying 15 points on 5-of-13 field goals, including 3-of-8 from 3-point range, to go with 4 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist in a career-best 40 minutes.

Sophomore DaJuan Gordon posted his team-leading third double-double with 14 points on 6-of-16 field goals to go with 11 rebounds and 3 assists in 39 minutes of action.

Sophomore walk-on Joe Petrakis scored his first career points in the first half before finishing with 6 points on 2-of-5 field goals, including his first career 3-pointer, and 2 rebounds in 15 minutes of play.

STAT OF THE GAME
33-6 – Oklahoma State took advantage of its greater depth, as reserves Rondel Walker (15) and Kalib Boone (14) helped the Cowboys post a 33-6 edge in bench points.

IN THEIR WORDS
K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the game…
“Obviously, we had a tough challenge ahead of us today being down to really, five plus players because Carlton (Linguard, Jr.) with his back probably could only play 10-12 minutes. He practiced one day. So, we had six scholarship guys available. Obviously, it makes it tough on you. And then the worst things that could happen, Davion (Bradford) getting in foul trouble, made it worse. But our kids played hard, they played their hearts out. I hope, and with playing this game, I just hope we can keep their spirit up. I told them after the game that I’m proud of them. Guys like Joey (Joe Petrakis) took advantage of it. Rudi (Williams) played 40 minutes. Selton (Miguel) played until he cramped. Carlton played until he couldn’t play anymore. So, you’re proud of those guys. Now we’ve just got to get a little better execution, smarter. A little more mature when we pass the basketball.”

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE

  • K-State is now 5-8 on the season, including 1-4 in Big 12 play… The Wildcats are now 0-3 at home to start league play for the first time since 1996-97.
  • K-State is now 82-56 all-time against Oklahoma State, including 16-21 in the Big 12 era… The Wildcats are 40-18 all-time at home in the series, including 13-12 at Bramlage Coliseum… The Cowboys have won 3 in a row in the series for the first time since winning 5 straight from 2003-07.
  • The Wildcats’ starting lineup consisted of senior Mike McGuirl, sophomore DaJuan Gordon, junior Rudi Williams, freshman Selton Miguel and freshman Davion Bradford… This is the first time using this lineup… McGuirl and Gordon have started all 13 games this season… It was Williams’ first career start… McGuirl has the longest current active start streak at 18 games.
  • K-State played with the minimum number of 8 available players, including 6 on scholarship.

Team Notes

  • K-State scored a season-low 54 points on 36.2 percent shooting (21-of-58), including 25 percent (6-of-24) from 3-point range, while connecting on just 50 percent (6-of-12) from the free throw line.
  • Oklahoma State scored its 70 points on 56.3 percent shooting (27-of-48), including 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from 3-point range, while hitting on 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from the free throw line.
  • The Cowboys connected on 75 percent (15-of-20) in the second half, including 60 percent (3-of-5) from 3-point range… It tied for the seventh-highest field goal percentage in a half by an opponent and the highest since OSU hit on 81.3 percent in the second half in last year’s matchup on Feb. 11, 2020.
  • OSU matched an opponent-high with 42 points in the paint.
  • OSU also held advantages in bench points (33-6), fast-break points (13-5) and second-chance points (9-7).
  • OSU held a 36-27 advantage on the boards, including an opponent-high 29 defensive rebounds.
  • OSU held a 33-24 lead at halftime on the strength of 42.9 percent (12-of-28) shooting… Six different Cowboys had at least one field goal, while they combined to go 6-of-8 from the free throw line…K-State shot 34.5 percent (10-of-29) from the field, including 25 percent (3-of-12) from 3-point range.
  • K-State is now 0-7 on the season when trailing at the half.

Player Notes

  • Senior Mike McGuirl led the Wildcats with 15 points on 5-of-13 field goals, including 3-of-8 from 3-point range, to go with 4 rebounds and a team-tying 2 steals in playing all 40 minutes for the first time in his career… He has now led the team in scoring in 7 career games, including 5 times this season… He now has scored in double figures in 19 career games, including a team-high 9 this season.
  • Sophomore DaJuan Gordon collected his third double-double, all of which have come in the last 7 games, as he posted 14 points on 6-of-16 field goals with a game-high 11 rebounds and 3 assists in a career-best 39 minutes… It marked his 13th career double-digit scoring game, including his seventh this season… He has now double-digit rebound in 4 games this season.
  • Junior Rudi Williams collected 9 points on 4-of-9 field goals, including 1-of-3 from 3-point range, to go with 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in playing all 40 minutes.
  • Freshman Selton Miguel dished out a season-high 7 assists to go with 6 points in 39 minutes.
  • Sophomore walk-on Joe Petrakis scored his first career points in the first half and finished with 6 points on 2-of-5 shooting, including his first career 3-pointer, with 2 rebounds in 15 minutes.

WHAT’S NEXT
K-State continues its homestand on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats play host to Iowa State (2-7, 0-5 Big 12) at 6 p.m., CT at Bramlage Coliseum on ESPNU. K-State won the first meeting between the schools in 2020-21 with a 74-65 victory at Hilton Coliseum on Dec. 15, 2020 and will attempt to sweep the series for the first time since 2017-18. The Wildcats also won the last meeting at Bramlage Coliseum with a 79-63 victory on March 7, 2020.

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