K-State basketball falls to winless UNLV
MANHATTAN — The Kansas State Wildcats' struggles on their home court continues.
UNLV took an early lead and never trailed Saturday night to hand K-State a 68-58 loss at Bramlage Coliseum.
It was the first victory for the Runnin' Rebels, who were playing their fourth straight road game and improved to 1-4. K-State fell to 1-3.
David Jenkins scored 25 points — 17 in the second half — and Bryce Hamilton had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead UNLV. Iowa State transfer Caleb Grill, a former Maize High School standout, added 12 for the Rebels.
Mike McGuirl was the lone double-figure scorer for K-State, with DaJuan Gordon and Nijel Pack each adding nine. Antonio Gordon led the Wildcats to a 33-30 rebounding edge with nine, and Pack tacked on five rebounds and six assists.
K-State rallied from a 10-point deficit to pull within three, 56-53, on McGuirl's two free throws with 5:55 left. But Antonio Gordon then missed an open layup that would have trimmed it to one.
Jenkins knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers and Hamilton made a fast-break layup that pushed it to 64-53. K-State got no closer than nine the rest of the way.
K-State had a chance to take its first lead to open the second half, but Kaosi Ezeagu missed inside. That triggered a 9-2 UNLV run that included a 3-pointer by Grill and two by Jenkins that made it 40-32 with 17:30 left. The Rebels opened their first double-digit lead, 49-39, on a basket by Grill at the 12:06 mark.
K-State, after holding double-digit leads in the first half of its previous two games, could do no better than three ties against UNLV, as the Rebels led most of the first period.
UNLV scored the game's first seven points, but K-State hung around to trail just 31-30 at intermission.
Hamilton, who led all scorers in the half with 14 points, hit a driving layup to put UNLV up 7-0, and buried a jumper with 16:25 left in the half to make it 9-3.
K-State got its first tie on a Rudi Williams 3-pointer with 8:33 to go in the period and got even again at 26 on DaJuan Gordon's three at the 4:43 mark.
Despite shooting 37% in the half to 50% for UNLV, the Wildcats stayed close with a 20-10 rebounding advantage, including a 9-1 edge on the offensive boards.
Pack had seven first-half points to lead K-State, with McGuirl adding five. For UNLV, Jenkins added eight points.
K-State was led in rebounding by Antonio Gordon with four at the break.