MANHATTAN (AP) — Thomas Gipson had 17 points and 13 rebounds for his first career double-double, Will Spradling added 14 points and Kansas State used a big second-half run to beat George Washington 69-56 on Thursday night.
Jamar Samuels added 10 points and 10 rebounds in his second game since serving a suspension for violating team rules, teaming with Gipson and Jordan Henriquez to give the Wildcats (4-0) an imposing front line. That contributed to 25 second-chance points against their smaller Atlantic 10 opponent.
George Washington (4-2), picked to finish fourth in the A-10, hung around until midway through the second half, when Spradling and company put together a 15-1 run that covered about six minutes.
After beating up on four weak opponents at home, Kansas State now hits the road to face Virginia Tech on Sunday, then plays West Virginia and former coach Bob Huggins on a neutral floor next week.
Tony Taylor scored 14 points to lead the Colonials, who came into the game as the nation’s top 3-point shooting team at better than 48 percent. They only managed to go 5 of 19 from beyond the arc, though, and finished 20 of 64 (31 percent) from the field.
The Wildcats, who were coming off an eight-day layoff, led most of the way in the first half, though they never could get much separation.
The Colonials’ Nemanja Mikic tied the game 17-all when he hit his third 3-pointer of the first half with 10:31 left, and Taylor’s basket briefly gave George Washington the lead.
Henriquez scored inside moments later to tie it, then hit a mid-range jumper — not exactly the 7-footer’s forte — to push Kansas State in front. That was the start of an 8-0 run during which Gipson hit a jumper and added two free throws to make it 25-19 with 6:48 left in the half.
That was the biggest lead for either team over the first 20 minutes.
George Washington climbed back behind a 3-pointer from Lasan Kromah and a steal and basket by Taylor that forced Kansas State coach Frank Martin to call a timeout in frustration. He yelled at his team to stop turning the ball over, eliciting chuckles from an otherwise quiet Bramlage Coliseum.
The Wildcats scored seven of the last 10 points to take a 32-29 lead into halftime.
George Washington was still within 39-37 early in the second half when the Wildcats started hitting from outside. Shane Southwell and Samuels knocked down back-to-back 3s, and after Kromah was called for charging, Colonials coach Mike Lonergan was whistled for a technical foul.
Spradling hit both free throws, then added a jumper from in front of the Kansas State bench, turning it into a four-point possession. Spradling hit another jump shot moments later, and his second 3-pointer with 12:06 left in the game capped a 15-1 run and made it 54-38.
The Wildcats cruised from there, the lead swelling to 19 with seven minutes remaining. It allowed Kansas State to avenge a loss to George Washington in their last meeting — on Dec. 28, 1940.