Manhattan, Kan. • Rodney McGruder scored all but two of his 28 points in the second half, and No. 25 Kansas State turned away a big effort from Marcus Smart and No. 22 Oklahoma State for a 73-67 victory Saturday.
McGruder was 10 of 13 from the field and hit all five of his 3-pointers after the break, including two in the closing minutes. The first answered seven straight points by the Cowboys, and the second gave the Wildcats (12-2, 1-0 Big 12) a 70-65 lead with 1 minute, 37 seconds left.
Le'Bryan Nash missed at the other end, and despite two rare misses from the foul line by Will Spradling, the Wildcats had enough to hang on in coach Bruce Weber's Big 12 debut.
Nino Williams added a career-best 17 points for Kansas State, which welcomed back guards Angel Rodriguez and Martavious Irving after missing two games with injuries. Both provided quality minutes down the stretch as the Wildcats beat the Cowboys for the third straight time.
It wasn't because they managed to shut down Smart, Oklahoma State's star freshman.
The athletic guard scored on an assortment of driving layups, pull-up jumpers and free throws for a season-best 25 points. He was coming off a 23-point performance Monday night, when the Cowboys lost 69-67 to No. 10 Gonzaga in Stillwater, Okla.
Markel Brown added 19 points for the Cowboys (10-3, 0-1), but he and Smart didn't get much help. The rest of the team managed just 23 points as Oklahoma State was dominated on the boards.
It was a typical rough-and-tumble Big 12 game from the opening tipoff.
How much so? The Cowboys got called for a foul after 2 seconds.
There was plenty of pushing and shoving, and more than once it looked as if punches were going to be thrown between teams hoping to contend with No. 6 Kansas for conference supremacy.