Senior Jordan Henriquez scored 13 points on 5-of-5 field goals, including a rare 3-pointer, as Kansas State posted a sluggish 59-46 win over Pindamonhangaba Club on Sunday morning.
The win was the second in less than 24 hours for K-State after knocking off Mogi Das Cruzes Club, 79-72, on Saturday night. After facing members of National Brazilian Basketball (NBB) League in its first two games, the Wildcats played a Pindamonhangaba Club squad, which is the lower division of professional basketball in Brazil. The game was set up to break up the five-hour bus trip to Rio de Janeiro. Pinda, as it is called by the locals, is located in the northern part of the state of Sao Paulo about an hour from the team’s original hotel in Sao Jose.
“We knew today that the competition was not going to be the strongest, so we wanted to play as many guys as possible,” said first-year head coach Bruce Weber. “The best part of today was the guys survived a real tough turnaround. We didn’t get back to our hotel until late on Saturday then we had to get up early this morning to get started to Rio. We started out pretty good again then we lost our concentration in the second and third quarter, but Jordan (Henriquez) made some big plays down the stretch to help us pull out the win.”
After falling behind 2-0 in the first quarter, K-State used a 6-0 run to take a commanding 13-4 lead with points coming from five different players. The squad finished off the quarter with a 17-5 advantage, which included a Henriquez dunk and a steal and basket by sophomore Angel Rodriguez. The lead ballooned to as many as 19 by the end of the second quarter, as the Wildcats scored 12 of 14 points during one stretch. Junior Shane Southwell was among six different players to score in the quarter with a team-high five points.
Pinda outscored K-State, 12-10, in the third quarter, as Weber mixed the line-up, including a significant stretch with Henriquez, freshmen D.J. Johnson and Michael Orris and walk-ons Shawn Meyer and Brian Rohleder. Pinda used a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 38-24 before Henriquez closed the third with three consecutive points. In the fourth quarter, Pinda once again chipped away at the lead, using a 12-5 run to close the gap to within 46-38 after a long 3-pointer from the corner. However, a Henriquez 3-pointer ignited a 9-0 run to push the lead back to 55-40. Pinda could get no closer than 12 points the rest of the way in a 59-46 victory.
K-State shot 47.6 percent (20-of-42) from the field, including 25 percent (4-of-16) from 3-point range, to go with 31 rebounds, 18 assists, 15 steals and four blocks. The squad was able to post 18 assists on 20 made field goals. The Wildcats were solid from the free throw line, knocking down 9-of-10 attempts.
Henriquez was the only player in double figures as all 14 players on the roster saw significant action, including both freshmen and walk-ons. Senior Rodney McGruder added nine points, four rebounds, one steal and one block, while sophomores Adrian Diaz and Nino Williams each posted eight points. Orris was solid with four points, two assists and two steals and Johnson had two points, four rebounds, one steal and one block. Rodriguez, who had paced the team in the first two games, collected just three points in reduced minutes, but did add a team-tying three steals, two assists and two rebounds. Sophomore Thomas Gipson led the way with six rebounds.
K-State will play its first game in Rio de Janeiro and the fourth of its 10-day trip to Brazil on Monday against Tijuca Club at 4 p.m. CT. The traveling party will tour historic Sugar Loaf Mountain in the morning prior to its game. For updates on the team’s trip to Brazil, please follow kstatesports and kstate_gameday on Twitter.