KSU rolls in NIT

11/14/2012

KSU rolls in NIT

KSU rolls in NIT

By ARNE GREEN

Special to The Telegram

MANHATTAN — On Kansas State's road to New York, Alabama-Huntsville was little more than a speed bump.

Repeating their semifinal formula from the night before, the Wildcats quickly put UAH out of its misery with a first-half flurry and rolled to an 87-26 victory Tuesday in the Midwest Regional final of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Bramlage Coliseum.

The Wildcats, 3-0, will face Delaware in the tournament semifinals next Wednesday at New York's Madison Square Garden. Before they head east, they have a home game Sunday against North Florida.

K-State made quick work of Division II Huntsville, which was coming off an emotional late-night upset of North Texas on Monday. The Wildcats scored the game's first seven points and opened a 23-4 advantage before the Chargers made their second field goal with 8 minutes left in the half.

Shane Southwell led a balanced K-State attack with 16 points and nine rebounds after knocking down a pair of late 3-pointers. Rodney McGruder added 11 points, while Angel Rodriguez and Will Spradling had 10 each.

K-State shot 55.7 percent from the field, including 47.4 from 3-point range and outrebounded UAH, 55-22. The Chargers (2-1), who shot just 16.4 percent, had nobody with more than four points.

The Wildcats led 47-11 at the half, shooting 56.7 percent from the field and holding UAH to a chilly 14.3 percent.

In addition to Delaware, which upset Virginia, 59-53, in the South Regional final, top-seeded Michigan advanced out of the North with a 77-47 thrashing of Cleveland State and No. 4 seed Pittsburgh out of the East by knocking off Lehigh, 78-53. Michigan and Pitt will meet in the other semifinal.

The Chargers were 4 of 28 overall, 1 of 15 from 3-point range while K-State hit half of its 10 3-point attempts and 8 of 10 free throws.

Rodriguez led the Wildcats with 10 first-half points and four assists, while McGruder had eight points. Southwell helped K-State to a 27-11 rebounding advantage in the period with six.

Baskets by Nino Williams and McGruder, sandwiched around a Rodriguez 3-pointer gave K-State its initial 7-0 cushion. After Jaime Smith broke the UAH drought, the Wildcats reeled off 12 more points and the rout was on.

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