AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Rodney McGruder scored 22 points and surging Kansas State muscled past slumping No. 7 Texas 75-70 on Monday night, the Wildcats’ fifth straight win.
Jacob Pullen scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half despite falling 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.
Two weeks ago, the Longhorns (24-6, 12-3) were in first place in the Big 12 and among the top contenders for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. They met their defensive match in a muscular game with the Wildcats, who held the Longhorns to 34 percent shooting and beat them on their home court for the third straight season.
Tristan Thompson scored 26 points for Texas but his teammates shot just 14 of 54 from the field.
It was Kansas State’s first road win over a Top Ten team since 1994.
Texas has been a shadow of the formidable defensive team that dominated opponents in an 11-0 start in the Big 12. Kansas State shot 50 percent against the Longhorns 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.
Texas, which was used to blowing out opponents at home, knew it was in for a physical game 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.
Pullen, who was averaging 29 points in the previous four games, struggled to get anything going offensively and Kansas State’s best counterpunch to Thompson was the inside scoring of Kelly and 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.
Texas had Cory Joseph guard Pullen early in the second and the freshman struggled to keep up. Pullen made three consecutive baskets that put Kansas State ahead 50-42 with 12:06 to play.
BIG 12 CONFERENCE
Kansas State 75, No. 7 Texas 70
KANSAS STATE (21-9)
Kelly 6-10 3-4 15, Samuels 0-1 0-0 0, Pullen 6-14 7-9 20, Southwell 2-2 4-4 8, McGruder 8-14 2-2 22, Irving 1-5 0-0 2, Henriquez-Roberts 4-5 0-1 8, Spradling 0-3 0-1 0. Totals 27-54 16-21 75.
Johnson 2-8 2-3 6, Thompson 9-14 8-13 26, Hamilton 5-18 3-3 14, Balbay 2-5 1-1 5, Joseph 2-12 0-0 5, Lucas 1-1 0-0 3, Brown 2-10 5-6 11, Wangmene 0-0 0-0 0, Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-68 19-26 70.
Halftime — Texas 33, Kansas State 31. Three-point goals — Kansas St. 5-14 (McGruder 4-6, Pullen 1-4, Spradling 0-1, Irving 0-3), Texas 5-18 (Brown 2-6, Lucas 1-1, Hamilton 1-4, Joseph 1-7). Fouled out — Henriquez-Roberts, Kelly. Rebounds — Kansas St. 36 (Henriquez-Roberts, Kelly 8), Texas 39 (Johnson, Thompson 10). Assists — Kansas St. 10 (Southwell 4), Texas 12 (Joseph 7). Total fouls — Kansas St. 20, Texas 21.