Courtesy of K-State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State put five players in double figures and held off a late rally to pick up a 76-75 win over Milwaukee on Friday evening at Bramlage Coliseum. The Cats improved to 2-4 with the win. Milwaukee dropped to 0-1.
Some missed free throws by K-State in the closing minutes allowed Milwaukee to make a late push. The Panthers closed the contest on a 6-0 run, but a steal in the closing seconds by Mike McGuirl finished off the win for the Cats.
K-State, which started three freshmen for the first time in 13 years, led by seven (38-31) at halftime. The visitors jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the opening two minutes, but K-State responded with a 14-0 run of their own. The Cats held Milwaukee without a point for well over six minutes during the run, and Selton Miguel scored five quick points to help K-State get started offensively.
The Cats put a pair of players in double figures in the first 20 minutes. Miguel’s 12 points led the way, while Davion Bradford chipped in with 10 points and five boards. K-State went 15-of-30 from the field and had 16 points in the paint in the opening half. Milwaukee went just 9-for-27 from the field in the half, but four makes from deep kept the Panthers close.
Early in the second half, K-State extended its advantage to eight on multiple occasions. The Cats knocked down four early shots from long range, and Nijel Pack’s back-to-back makes gave the Cats a 52-44 lead with 13:42 left in the contest.
The Panthers didn’t go quietly and rallied to take a 60-59 lead on a made three by Tafari Simms with 7:46 to play. The Cats responded with some big shots down the stretch. McGuirl connected on a pair of key jumpers, and Rudi Williams hit a big shot from deep to put the Cats up 74-67 with just 1:27 remaining.
Bradford’s 18 points led a balanced K-State scoring attack. Miguel finished with 17, and Williams had 16. Pack and McGuirl stuffed the stat sheet. Pack totaled 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. McGuirl scored 11 points to go with a career-high eight assists on the night.
DeAndre Gholston’s 15 points led Milwaukee. Grant Coleman (14), Te’Jon Lucas (11) and Josh Thomas (10) also reached double figures for the Panthers.
K-State returns to action on Tuesday when they open Big 12 play at Iowa State.