By KELLIS ROBINETT
The Kansas City Star
• Key play: South Dakotas Trevor Gruis made a basket and added with a free throw with 1:06 left for the Coyotes final points of the half.
• Key stat: The Coyotes made 52.2 percent of their shots in the half.
• Key play: The Wildcats took the lead with 4:54 left on a three-pointer by Shane Southwell.
• Key stat: The Wildcats won despite missing six of seven free throws in the last minute.
K-State senior guard Will Spradling was held scoreless against South Dakota. He missed all three of his shots and finished with four rebounds and three assists.
Wildcats coach Bruce Weber wanted more.
Will has got to give us something on offense, Weber said. He is too good a player. We need him to make some shots. He is getting ticky-tack fouls, and he compounds them he is too good a player for that. He is our most experienced guy. He has been through it. I think he is putting too much pressure on himself.
Weber said he yelled at Spradling during halftime for the first time during his tenure at K-State.
I yelled at him, because he has got to be better than that, and he is better than that, Weber said. If we are going to have success he has to step up.
• Though Thomas Gipson had 13 points and eight rebounds against South Dakota, he didnt think he played well.
Why? His defense was subpar. South Dakota big man Trevor Gruis made things look easy against Gipson in the paint. Gruis made seven of eight shots on his way to 18 points and nine rebounds. He played all 40 minutes and looked like the most dominant forward on the floor.
• Marcus Foster scored 14 of K-States 26 points in the first half, sinking four three-pointers when his teammates were unable to find the bottom of the net.
• Omari Lawrence played a pivotal part in K-States victory by coming off the bench to score nine points and grab five rebounds.
• Nigel Johnson scored seven points, and made some important plays in the second half for the Wildcats. But K-State coaches werent happy with his play, mainly because of his three turnovers.