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Originally published February 28, 2011 at 12:00a.m., updated February 28, 2011 at 11:43p.m.

Rodney McGruder and surging K-State top No. 7 Texas 75-70

Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder, right, brings the ball up against Texas forward Tristan Thompson during the second Monday, Feb. 28, 2011, in Austin, Texas. McGruder was the high scorer for Kansas State with 22 points as Kansas State won 75-70.

Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder, right, brings the ball up against Texas forward Tristan Thompson during the second Monday, Feb. 28, 2011, in Austin, Texas. McGruder was the high scorer for Kansas State with 22 points as Kansas State won 75-70.


Kansas State is surging at the right time.

Texas, the team that two weeks ago looked unstoppable in the Big 12, is slipping at precisely the wrong one.

Rodney McGruder scored 22 points, Jacob Pullen scored 20 and Kansas State muscled past No. 7 Texas 75-70 on Monday night, the Wildcats' fifth straight win and first on the road over a Top Ten team since 1994.

Pullen exemplified the tough, physical nature of the game, scoring 16 points in the second half despite falling hard on his right wrist as Kansas State (21-9, 9-6 Big 12) sent the Longhorns to their second straight loss and third in four games.

"Everybody wrote us off. They cast our season down the drain," Pullen said of the Wildcats' 1-4 start in the conference. "People say we're a good team again but we can't let things like that get into our locker room and we can't let down our guard. Our morale is to the sky."

Texas is heading in the opposite direction.

An 11-0 start in conference play had the Longhorns among the top contenders for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Now they're trying to regroup and not worry about how far they may fall.

"We're better than what we're playing and that's the concern," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "You've got to stay disciplined with what you do. Kansas State did exactly what we thought they'd do and that was try to push us out of our offense."

Texas (24-6, 12-3) met its defensive match against the Wildcats, who held the Longhorns to 34 percent shooting. Freshman Tristan Thompson scored 26 points for the Longhorns but his teammates shot just 14 of 54 from the field. Kansas State shot 50 percent two days after Texas gave up a 22-point lead and let Colorado shoot 53 percent in a road loss.

Curtis Kelly scored 15 points for Kansas State, doing much of his damage in the first half when Pullen was struggling to score. McGruder was 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.

Thompson was the only Longhorn who could match Kansas State's physical play. He grabbed 10 rebounds and had several dunks but got little help on offense. Jordan Hamilton scored 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting and was a non-factor for most of the game. J'Covan Brown scored 11 points but didn't make a field goal until hitting two long 3-pointers in the final minute.

"They pressured us as well, but we just missed our shots," Texas guard Cory Joseph said.

Texas, which was used to blowing out teams at home, knew it was in for a fight when Kansas State's Jamar Samuels, who is 6-foot-7, decked 5-10 Texas guard Jai Lucas in a collision near midcourt in the early going.

But Thompson was the only one who really responded with three early dunks and tough rebounding. He scored 12 of Texas' first 20 points and Kansas State's best counterpunch was the inside scoring of Kelly and 7-footer Jordan Henriquez-Roberts.

Thompson's fourth dunk of the first half put Texas up 29-24. At that point, his six field goals were more than the rest of his team. Thompson's tough shot over Kelly put Texas up by five before a 3-pointer by McGruder pulled Kansas State within 33-31 at halftime.

Kelly made two consecutive baskets over Thompson to start the second, then blocked Hamilton as Kansas State quickly grabbed the lead. Hamilton also rimmed out a 3-pointer, his 10th miss in 11 shots.

"I try to be aggressive," Kelly said. "They're big and aggressive and try to attack me and I go back at them."

Pullen then made three consecutive baskets that put Kansas State ahead 50-42 with 12:06 to play.

Kansas State managed to maintain that lead for the next 5 minutes, but started piling up critical fouls. Samuels and Henriquez-Roberts both picked up their fourth, sending much of the Wildcats' interior strength to the bench.

The Wildcats simply went outside for points. McGruder slipped away from Hamilton for his fourth 3-pointer and a 60-51 lead.

Kansas State seemed to have the game wrapped up when McGruder dunked on a fast break with 47 seconds left. Brown's two long 3-pointers from the right wing gave Texas some life before Pullen and the Wildcats put the game away from the free throw line.

"Some of the breakdowns are baffling to be honest with you," Barnes said. "I can't tell you why because we've proven we can be really good defensively and offensively."


Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Interesting to see all the KSuck fans visiting this site. I have a few questions for them: How are those DVDs of that 'win for the ages' over KU going? Why does your athletic dept sell DVDs of a conf. win? "Yall" gonna sell dvds of your win over Texas? The only thing I like about KSuck is Frank+Pullen. Self likes Frank too: they have had the families over for backyard bbq. But when Frank & Pullen were down in Austin, TX, that really did create a Manlesshattan, didnt it??? I wish the PurplePussies would change their culture of losing? Why didnt the Sherrontagon-0-gloom have streamers falling from the ceiling when "yall" rushed the court for a Is it because you were 'unprepared as usual' and didnt really expect to win? Why dont you get to a Final4, and we can talk. You have small goals, small balls...I love those shirts: "Pleez beat KU" (still funny/still pathetic)...maybe you can print some that say "NIT-not! (whew!)"? In most of your lifetimes, you can count your wins over KU in single digits. Since beating KU is such a rarity, even in your own gym, maybe we should play again in KC, NY, or even Africa, as one of your own former mildcats suggested?

Oh, and what the hell happenned to your cheerleaders? Have you looked at them lately? I sure cant. Why dont the several of you K-stutters above put your heads together (to equal 1 brain), and explore the concept that there is a Big68 tournament looming, and that is the yearly challenge for the "blue blood" programs...(that's what they call it, dont they?). Hurts, dont it? Can you make the leap from pretender to contender? Are ya scared? on your feet? But always fallin'! Still got 9 lives left? You need em. While you 'down there', look up: see us soaring? As usual? Your best moves help us soar higher! Beasley beat us in 08--focused our ChampHawks. Wanna bet our whole squad is itching to face you (&Texass) again? You just beat TX, helped us again. Thanks! You shouldnt have! We're used to killing the bigger/hated MizzooCreatures Tigers (thats our rival, fools). You wanna come sniffing around here? Curiosity killed the 'cat. Suppose "yall" want a purple coffin?


junctionhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Hey fellow hawk fans. My family recently purchased tickets for the big 12 tourney and got session four assuming we'd finish in 2nd place we'd be the 6:00 game on thursday. Now that texas is blowing the conference lead im worried that we'll be the one seed and be the 11:30 game which is session 3. I love the fact that we could win another big 12 regular season title but am a little worried about the ticket situation. At first we didnt know anything about different sessions, we just assumed that if we had tickets for thursday we could go to all games that day, now we are trying to figure out what to do. Would greatly appreciate any info or insight on situation


12steps 3 years, 1 month ago

NO DOUBT now who the Current King of college b-ball is now in Kansas...


jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 1 month ago

Kansas ST. just handed KU the big 12 conference title. Ku couldn't get it by its self.


jhwkfan162515 3 years, 1 month ago

Texas is looking like they could have a "Bucknell/Bradley" moment in the NCAAs.


Ron Franklin 3 years, 1 month ago

Curtis Kelly gets off the reefer and all of the sudden he's a new player.

who'duv thunkit


Paul R Getto 3 years, 1 month ago

Good job, Cats! Every man a Wildcat (at least for one night.) KSU is going to be trouble for people in the tournament and maybe in the Big XII tournament. If they stay healthy and focused, they can beat lots of teams, including KU and UT. PS: Rock Chalk!!


justinryman 3 years, 1 month ago

  "First of all I'd like to thank J'covan Brown for being the worst team mate ever.  I couldn't imagine us being anywhere but here without our worthless coach Rick Barnes, who has a history of letting his teams fall apart.  I would like to thank Matt Hill for not having any basketball talent except being really tall and lanky.  Oh I can't forget to thank the other players on this longhorn team that put themselves ahead of everyone else and think they can win the game all by themselves.  I'd like to thank the ball boy, he was the only one who threw the ball to me.  I'd also like the thank all the assistant coaches.....Oh please don't play the music I'm almost dune....back to the assistants who think that defensive drill and cardio don't win you games.

 "I believe with everything that we at Texas do, that this will happen year in and year out, and I believe that a run in the Dance this year past the second round would be AWESOME!!!!  But then again I and the rest of my team mates might just go to spring break after the first game.

    "Thank you, thank you thank you all!!!!!"

From and unknown Texas Longhorn Bball Starter


Kye Clark 3 years, 1 month ago

All the K-State love is a little nauseating. Thanks for beating Texas. That's all they deserve.


Redlandsjhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Headline: Kansas deploys secret weapon to regain control of Big XII-- Rick Barnes.


jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 1 month ago

I told you idiots that too watchout for Kansas ST. If Kansas ST. plays KU again on a neutral floor Kansas ST. will bury KU. Martin for National Coach For The Year and Pullen Player Of The Year. Great going Kansas ST. you might be the one to make the State of Kansas Proud.


RockCaCO3 3 years, 1 month ago

Beat A&M. Give Turgeon an unwelcome home.



kcglowboy 3 years, 1 month ago

This is fun ... getting back to last year's sensation of having two of the best teams in the country from our much-maligned, sparsely populated state. And make no mistake about it ... K-State is playing at a Top 10 level. Now, let's cheer for Tad Boyle's Buffs to win their next two games and our conference, in its farewell tour, will send half of its teams to the Tourney -- with four of the six teams having Kansas connections.


Scott Smetana 3 years, 1 month ago


It's the annual Rick Barnes Slide!


LawrenceWildcat 3 years, 1 month ago

Great game CATS! What a come back from a season that looked to be basically over to winning 5 in a row! Keep up the good work! Oh and to all you Jayhawks, you are welcome!


Justin Carlson 3 years, 1 month ago

Ok folks I know it is KSU and the color purple makes me dry heave but........Wow what a hard fought game by the kitties. Defensively was outstanding and the effort throughout the game was incredible.

Mark my words if Pullen fully recovers or has no lasting hand/wrist injury they will make to the elite 8 again.

We may want to look at the "EFFORT" that KSU played with in the 2nd half and apply it to our second halves when we lay eggs. If that happens Houston get ready for some crimson and blue!

By the way! Thank You Cats for putting us in line for a 7th straight title!!


jayhawklawrence 3 years, 1 month ago

K-State could make it to the Final Four.

If we play them again and don't play our best game, they will whip us again.

They are tougher than we are and they are so focused it is scary.


ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 1 month ago

Ok. Alabama gets into a little hot water over showing a potential football recruit on the jumbotron (sp?) at a home basketball game.


Someone tell me how espn (who is in bed with UT) can show and mention future UT recruits on TV to a national audience.


Varlo52 3 years, 1 month ago

Looks like another case of going from Texas Hold 'Em to Texas Fold 'Em


Janet Scott 3 years, 1 month ago

Pullen for President. Martin for Coach of the Year.


Hank Cross 3 years, 1 month ago

Looks like UT decided to avoid the March rush and started their usual dive now. Both they and Villanova look like they're going into the tourney falling apart.


oldnongrad 3 years, 1 month ago

I watched the Texas - KSU game tonight and surely wonder how the outcome wasn't determined by the loss of Kelly and Henriquez to fouls. I think that they do have some other really tough people and that without the dead weight they got rid of they will be very tough in the tournaments depending on Pullen's injury.

Now that Texas has proved all those pundits wrong all we need to see happen this week is two Hawk wins and I fully expect to see that happen. The twins are playing so well since the K-State game that only sickness or fouls will let the other teams win. I think that the Hawks are about as focused as K-State seems to be and that is all they need to win that next championship.


Kye Clark 3 years, 1 month ago

Blogger Eric Sorrentino had Rick Barnes as his Big 12 coach of the year just a couple of days ago. I posted that I thought given the circumstances surrounding this KU team - losing 2 lottery picks and the winningest KU player of all time & undisputed leader the past 2 seasons, missing players due to suspensions, injuries, & tragedies and never having our full complement of players available for even one game this season - that should KU even share the Big 12 crown Self should be the hands-down pick for the award. He posted a response, saying that "Self would be a good pick" if Texas slips up (note: he didn't even have Coach Self as being still in the running at the time), but that if they shared the title his vote would still go to Barnes.

He had Tad Boyle as his coach "still in the running". I will admit that he has done a great job this year, and as a former KU alum I always will root for him and wish him nothing but success. However, he did inherit this team from the previous regime. Should he really be anointed with that award despite having nothing to do with assembling the team? Recruiting is such a major part of every coaches job, I wouldn't give it to Tad this year. Also, while it has nothing to do with the job he's done this year, if I had a vote I'd be hesitant to give the award to someone who's on his way out the door (of the conference).

Anyway, I know it has become "old hat" for KU to win the conference, but to have this team positioned where it is I think Self has done one of his better coaching jobs this season. Hopefully people recognize this and don't just think "well of course KU won the league again. They're supposed to right?"


riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

"Kansas State is surging at the right time." Agreed, since they had absolutely run out of time after pretty much sucking the first two months of the season. KSU will will be a tough out in the NCAAs but they will be an out.


khekhen 3 years, 1 month ago

'gotta admit, pullen delivered on his promise of "not playing in the NIT". he's playing like a man possessed. big 12 is ours to lose at this point.


Benjamin Piehler 3 years, 1 month ago

guess kstate will have to release another dvd lol..... anyway its good for the conference and a 7th strait title wouldnt hurt....


doctor_h 3 years, 1 month ago

What's amazing is amidst tragedy (TR's losses), injuries (TR, Selby) and suspensions (TT) coupled with one bad half in head to head competition, Texas is annointed as the "clear-cut" favorite in the Big XII? Well I guess the lesson to be learned is don't piss off CU, NU and the surging Mild cats, after all with a resume of losses like that I guess I can see why UT is..., or correction was number one in the Big XII. By the way, I, like many of you, watched the UT game and what I came away with was an athletic team with unrealized talent, but moreover I saw a Jayhawk team that echoed the results 1997 against Arizona and/or 2003 against Melo (12/30 from the line). The bottom line....if you don't hit open shots (like they didn't against UT), how will you hit them when they are guarded. Let's not kid ourselves, the Hawks did more to lose that tilt in AF than UT did to win it. I guess what I'm trying to say in the end is Mizzou still sucks.


Adam Evans 3 years, 1 month ago

How long until this article brings out the troll 12Steps? haha. Thank you KSU. thank you thank you thank you.


cragarhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Just beat the aggies guys, that's the task. Stay focused on beating the aggies, nothing else matters right now. We believe in you Jayhawks!!! Rock Chalk!!!!


KU_FanSince75 3 years, 1 month ago

With Texas losing, who are the four #1 seeds? I figure Ohio State, KU, maybe BYU----would Pitt get that last #1 seed?

Nice to know the Jayhawks can control their own destiny. Win out, and you win the League. Rock Chalk!


milwaukeeJAYHAWK 3 years, 1 month ago

Wow. It's amazing to think that UT had a 2 game freaking lead on us in conference and just blew 3 games to B12 opponents. I had pretty much accepted that we'd not get that 7th straight B12 crown. Now it's ours to lose! Crazy....


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