Kansas State's Jordan Henriquez lays in a basket in the first half of an East Regional NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game against Southern Mississippi on Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
PITTSBURGH — Rodney McGruder scored 30 points and Jordan Henriquez added 15 points, nine rebounds and six blocks to lead eighth-seeded Kansas State over ninth-seeded Southern Miss 70-64 in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
The Wildcats (22-10) advanced past their opening tournament game for the third straight year and will face either Syracuse or UNC-Asheville in the third round on Saturday.
Neil Watson led Southern Miss (25-9) with 16 points, LaShay Page had 15 and Kentucky transfer Darnell Dodson scored all 14 of his points in the second half. But the Golden Eagles let a chance to win their first-ever tournament game slip away in the final minutes.
Southern Miss led by as many as five points in the second half but had no answer when McGruder and freshman point guard Angel Rodriguez keyed a late surge.