Kansas State's Rodney McGruder hit a nice three-point shot as he fell to the ground with about 13 seconds remaining in the first half to cut Texas' lead to 33-31 and that's where they stayed headed into halftime. Here are a few highlights of the first half:
-Jacob Pullen isn't on fire. Last Saturday against Mizzou Pullen scored 11 of K-State's first 13 points. You knew immediately he was hot. That's not the case tonight as Pullen isn't the main focus of the offense like has been in the past four games. That said, he's still having a solid game at the point. He's not putting up 30 points but he's playing well enough for K-State to win.
-I like where Curtis Kelly is headed. Last Saturday he hit 7-of-9 shots for 15 points. Tonight he has nine points on 3-of-5 shooting and five boards. This is a good sign for K-State. They're a much better team with Kelly playing well.
-Texas' Tristan Thompson is lighting it up early. He's hit 7-of-11 shots for 18 points and six boards. Or, as Brent Musburger said on the ESPN broadcast: "You have got to double team him!" Big night for Thompson.
-Texas' Jordan Hamilton is cold. Hamilton is 1-of-9 and has three points through one half. This reminds me of something SB Nation's Big 12 Hoops blog said before the game:
But more troubling still has been the Longhorn offense. In the two losses, Jordan Hamilton reverted to his inefficient form from last season, going a combined 10-38. While Texas relies heavily on Hamilton to score, it's far more important that he's efficient: on nights where he's being double-teamed or the shots just aren't falling, he needs to learn to find open teammates.
This could be good news for K-State. At the very least, they're staying in this game as Hamilton struggles.
-Only three three-pointers have been made this game and each team is shooting below 43 percent. They're grinding it out. This game is close enough that a big second half offensive performance from one player could make the difference.