'Cats Open New Season with 92-54 Win
MANHATTAN, Kan. --- Kansas State started its season on Friday night with a 92-54 victory over Loyola Chicago. The Wildcats never let up as they led the Ramblers from start to finish and pushed their lead to as many as 41 points in the second half.
In his K-State debut, junior forward Curtis Kelly led five Wildcats in double-figuring scoring with a career-high 22 points, shooting 9-of-11 from the field. Kelly's previous career-high came in a 14-point output against Coppin State on Dec. 27, 2006, while playing for Connecticut. He also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Junior guard Jacob Pullen added 15 points, recording his 40th career double-digit scoring game.
Five freshmen made their collegiate debuts on Friday night. Along with Kelly, the six newcomers combined for 49 points. Freshman Rodney McGruder was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including three treys in the second half. McGruder led the five Wildcat freshmen in scoring with 11 points.
Kansas State went into the break with a 37-18 lead, holding Loyola Chicago to just 14.7 percent shooting in the first half. In the second frame, the Wildcats continued their defensive dominance. They kept the Ramblers to just 25 percent shooting in the contest, while forcing 25 turnovers and blocking eight shots. Freshman Jordan Henriquez-Roberts led all players with four blocks in the game.
The free throw line proved to be an important factor in the contest as the Wildcats added 27 points in their 39 trips to the stripe.
Kansas State returns to Bramlage Coliseum on Sunday when the Wildcats will look to earn their second win of the season against Western Illinois (0-1) with a 3 p.m. tipoff.