Here’s how wild the ending of Kansas State’s 64-61 victory over Baylor was on Saturday at the Ferrell Center: The final buzzer sounded twice before Rodney McGruder hit the game-winning shot everyone has been watching on Sportscenter today.
Officials had to go back and add one second to the clock after Shane Southwell missed badly on a potential game-winner and after Baylor’s Jacob Neubert air-mailed everyone with a baseball-style pass that ended up giving the ball back to K-State.
The rest is history. Angel Rodriguez found Rodney McGruder wide open behind the three-point line and he made a clutch shot that keeps K-State in a first-place tie with Kansas in the Big 12 standings. Both teams have two games to play, but with Kansas hosting Texas Tech and K-State hosting TCU midweek the conference title race should all come down to Saturday. The Jayhawks are at Baylor. The Wildcats are at Oklahoma State.
It will be an exciting day of basketball. Until then, let’s look back at K-State’s exciting win at Baylor in another edition of Player Ratings:
Rodney McGruder – 8: Had McGruder knocked down a few more open shots, he could have easily scored 30+ points. The senior wing continually got away from Pierre Jackson and found open looks, he simply didn’t make them early. But he made the one that mattered most, lifting K-State to a key victory. He missed four of five three-pointers, but the one he made won the game. As long as he stays aggressive and keeps getting open, the mega-point games will come.
Last game: 7.5. Average: 8.1.
Martavious Irving – 7.75: I could tell Irving was in for a big game before he stepped onto the court. In the opening moments, when he watched from the bench, he motivated Jordan Henriquez with some confident words. After watching Henriquez block Baylor center Isaiah Austin, he yelled out, “He’s soft. You got this. He’s soft.” Austin heard Irving and stared at K-State’s bench, but Irving kept repeating “He’s soft. He’s soft.” Then Irving came into the game and scored 11 points in 34 minutes. His main contribution, though, came on defense. He made life difficult on Jackson, and played an important role with Will Spradling unable to play in the second half. Irving has struggled lately. This was a nice bounce-back effort.
Last game: 3. Average: 6.1.