Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - The Kansas State Wildcats continue their
three-game homestand on Monday afternoon, as they try to stay perfect at
Bramlage Coliseum this season in a bout with the South Dakota Coyotes.
South Dakota's 6-8 record is far from impressive, but it has been able to make
some noise in the early part of its Summit League schedule, defeating IUPUI
(88-68), and most recently Nebraska Omaha (95-72) to move to 2-1 in
conference. The Coyotes haven't had any success against non-league foes on the
road however, losing all five contests.
Kansas State's impressive start to the season has reached new heights of late,
as the team faced nationally-ranked Florida on a neutral floor on Dec. 22 and
came away with a 67-61 triumph, which allowed it to jump into the Top-25. The
Wildcats followed up that win up with a 52-44 decision over UMKC on Saturday
for their third straight victory.
The Wildcats have never lost to the Coyotes in seven previous meetings.
The Coyotes traveled to Omaha on Saturday and they were up to the challenge,
putting together their most dominant performance of the year in a 33-point
win. They shot a lofty 57.6 percent from the floor in the win, which included
an 11-of-21 night from 3-point range. Brandon Bos had a career night with 23
points and 10 rebounds. Eric Robertson (15 points) and Casey Kasperbauer (14
points) combined to shoot 8-of-10 from beyond the arc, and Trevor Gruis also
chipped in 15 points. The offensive outburst was far from the norm for South
Dakota, but it still posts solid numbers on the season, shooting 44.2 percent
from the floor for 72.5 ppg. The only problem is it allows opponents to net an
average of 74.3 ppg. Juevol Myles is the team's leading scorer with 15.3 ppg
and he hands out 3.5 apg as well. Gruis (11.7 ppg) and Karim Rowson (10.9 ppg)
round out the double-digit scorers for the Coyotes.
Kansas State's latest game against UMKC was a defensive struggle throughout,
as neither team shot better than 33.3 percent from the field, but the Wildcats
were able to lead the game wire-to-wire by outshooting the Kangaroos from the
foul line (16-8) and by turning the ball over just 11 times. Rodney McGruder
has seen better days from the floor (7-of-17), but he still finished with a
game-high 17 points while also adding four steals. Thomas Gipson tacked on 13
points, and Nino Williams finished with eight points and 13 rebounds. K-State
is usually a rather modest scoring team (.414 FG percentage, 69.5 ppg), but
the key to its success has been its defensive presence, holding teams to just
38.8 percent from the floor for an average of only 56.6 ppg. McGruder nets
13.6 ppg, and Angel Rodriguez puts up 10.1 ppg and more than four assists per
contest, although he missed the UMKC matchup. Gipson (8.3 ppg) grabs 6.8 rpg
for a team that outrebounds its opponents by more than eight boards per outing
The Sports Network