Courtesy of K-State Sports Information at www.kstatesports.com.
WICHITA, Kan.– Rodney McGruder led Kansas State with 20 points, while freshman Thomas Gipson recorded his second double-double of the season, but Kansas State suffered its first defeat of the season in an 85-80 double-overtime thriller against West Virginia at a sold-out INTRUST Bank Arena.
The loss, which pitted Wildcat head coach Frank Martin against his long-time mentor and friend Bob Huggins for the first time since he took over the West Virginia program, moved K-State to 5-1 on the season, while the Mountaineers improved to 5-2.
After a back-and-forth game, which saw nine lead changes and 17 ties, the Mountaineers were able to seal the game with a 7-2 run in the second overtime. Kevin Jones led West Virginia with a game-high 30 points and 12 rebounds. Six of his points were scored in the two overtimes combined. In addition to McGruder’s 20 points, Will Spradling added 16 points, while Gipson had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
K-State led by as many as seven points in the first half and held on to a slim 31-30 halftime lead. McGruder and Spradling had eight points apiece in the first period. The Wildcats opened the game with a 9-2 run highlighted by a Spradling three-pointer. West Virginia then used a 13-4 run to take a 13-15 lead. K-State and West Virginia would continue to trade baskets throughout the half.
At the start of the second half, the Wildcats started on a 10-4 run to extend its lead to 41-34. K-State led for the majority of the second half until the Mountaineers tied the game for the first time in the period at 54-54 off of a Gary Browne layup. In the closing seconds K-State took a 64-61 with 22 seconds remaining after a Gipson layup. Jones then knocked down a crucial game-tying three-pointer with 14 seconds left. K-State had one more chance to win it in regulation but McGruder’s last-second attempt came up short.
In the first overtime, both teams would continue to trade baskets. A Darryl Bryant free-throw gave the Mountaineers a two point lead with 20 seconds left, but a McGruder jumper tied it up at 74. Bryant missed a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to a second overtime.
West Virginia would then take command in the second extra period to seal the win. Despite tying the game twice in the second overtime, K-State missed its final five shots after tying the game at 80. A Jones jumper gave the visitors the lead for good as they scored the game’s final five points.
K-State returns to action on December 11 as it faces North Florida in Bramlage at 1 p.m. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Midwest.