Drake turns back K-State in opener

Staff Writer
Salina Journal
Kansas State's Mike McGuirl (00) dives for a loose ball during Wednesday's game against Drake at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.

MANHATTAN — In the end, experience won out.

A veteran Drake team turned back every Kansas State advance down the stretch Wednesday afternoon to spoil the Wildcats' season debut, 80-70, in the first game of the Little Apple Classic at Bramlage Coliseum.

Junior guard Garrett Stutz came off the bench to lead Drake with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Tremell Murphy had 12 points and Wisconsin-Green Bay graduate transfer Shanquan Hemphill 10. The Bulldogs also got a big lift in the second half from point guard Roman Penn, who scored all nine of his points after intermission and dished out eight assists.

Mike McGuirl, K-State's lone senior, led the Wildcats with 22 points and grabbed six rebounds. DaJuan Gordon added 15 points and freshman point guard Nijel Pack nine to go with five assists. The Wildcats out-rebounded Drake, 36-32, led by Antonio Gordon's seven.

After K-State opened the second half with an 11-2 run to lead 47-40, Drake used a 10-2 spurt of its own to go up 50-49 on a Sturtz basket. An inside basket and 3-pointer from Murphy gave the Bulldogs a 55-52 advantage, but DaJuan Gordon's three-point play on an offensive rebound tied at 55.

Drake then reeled off five more points and stretched it to six, 63-57, on a Penn 3-pointer at the 5:01 mark.

McGuirl responded with a 3-pointer for K-State to cut it to 63-60. But after an Antonio Gordon's rebound basket trimmed it to 65-62 with 3:52 to go, Drake took control, using a 7-1 run to lead 72-63 on a pair of Hemphill free throws at the 1:19 mark.

K-State came out strong after intermission, scoring the first six points on a rebound basket by Antonio Gordon, two DaJuan Gordon free throws and a Kaosi Ezeagu layup to lead 42-38.

The Wildcats stretched the lead to seven on back-to-back baskets by DaJuan Gordon and McGuirl, followed by an Ezeagu free throw.

K-State trailed by as many as seven points in the first half, but came back to tie it on a DaJuan Gordon with 17 seconds left before Penn found Murphy for a back-door dunk that put Drake up 38-36 at the break.

Drake used a 7-2 run late in the first half to go up 32-25 on an Okay Djamgouz 3-pointer and Nate Ferguson inside basket. But K-State answered with a 7-2 spurt, capped by a McGuirl 3-pointer, that trimmed it to 34-32.

McGuirl had 11 points and three rebounds in the half to lead the Wildcats. Who shot 46.4% from the field and made 6 of 13 from 3-point range. DaJuan Gordon added seven points in the period and Nijel Pack six points plus five assists.

Jonah Jackson had nine points on three 3-pointers to lead Drake in the half. Garrett Sturtz came off the bench to add eight points for the Bulldogs, who shot 50% from the floor in the half and outrebounded K-State, 17-16.