BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Jamar Samuels scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half on Sunday night and Kansas State used a 10-0 second-half run to take command and beat Virginia Tech 69-61.
Samuels also grabbed 14 rebounds for the Wildcats (5-0), who were playing their first road game of the season and first at an ACC school since 1959. They missed often from in-close early, but attacked the basket in the second half with Samuels getting the first three baskets.Robert Brown scored 15 points and Erick Green had 14 for Virginia Tech (5-3), but the Hokies got no closer than eight after Kansas State finished its 10-0 run with 5:31 remaining.Samuels got the Wildcats off to the quick start after halftime and Martavious Irving made a reverse layup, the bulk of a 12-2 run that gave them a 34-30 lead with 15 1/2 minutes to play.The Hokies, in the meantime, missed 10 of their first 12 shots, including several open jumpers.A 3-pointer by Robert Brown pulled them even at 36 with 13:14 to play, but Samuels' putback and a 3-pointer by Will Spradling made it 41-36, and the Hokies again had to fight back.They drew even again at 43 on a free throw by Victor Davila, but two baskets by Shane Southwell around a stick-back by teammate Rodney McGruder, two free throws by Samuels and then his basket inside capped a 10-0 run. The spree gave the Wildcats their largest lead and they beat the Hokies for the second year in a row. Last year, it was 73-57 at Bramlage Coliseum.Southwell added 11 points for the Wildcats, who outscored the Hokies 38-32 in the paint.The game was another missed opportunity by Virginia Tech to get the kind of quality victory it has been found to be lacking in each of the last four seasons when they were snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee. The Hokies were coming off another of those, Wednesday at Minnesota. But they lost that, too, 58-55, with the help of a blown call with 9.9 seconds to go.The Hokies used a 12-2 run to open a 16-10 lead with 8 minutes left in the first half. Kansas State made only one field goal over a span of 8 1/2 minutes during the burst, and finished the half shooting just 27.6 percent (8 of 29). Many of the misses came from close to the basket.---Follow Hank on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr