Big First Half Leads No. 2 Baylor to Win Over K-State

Courtesy of K-State Athletics

WACO, Texas – Second-ranked Baylor jumped out to a double-digit lead midway through the first half en route to 50 points by halftime as the Bears took down Kansas State, 85-66, Tuesday at the Ferrell Center.

The 85 points scored by the Bears were the most against the Wildcats since Arizona State netted 92 points in November 2017, while the 50 first-half points were the most given up since Iowa State scored 50 on December 29, 2017.

The Bears had 5 double-digit scorers in the game, led by Matthew Mayer’s 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting – including a pair of triples – while Jared Butler came away with 16 points. Davion Mitchell and Freddie Gillespie each had double-doubles. Mitchell came away with 14 points and 10 assists, while Gillespie scored 10 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.

Baylor (25-2, 14-1 Big 12) shot 49.1 percent (28-of-57) for the game, which included 13 3-pointers, the fifth time the Wildcats surrendered 10 or more shots from beyond the arc this season. The Bears went 16-for-18 from the free throw line as they made their first 13 shots from the charity stripe.

K-State (9-19, 2-13 Big 12) was paced in the game by Cartier Diarra, who scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including a trio of 3 pointers. DaJuan Gordon and Mike McGuirl joined Diarra in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. McGuirl was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, while Gordon went 5-for-8 from the field.

For the game, K-State shot 44.9 percent (22-of-49), including a 41.2-percent mark (7-for-17) from 3-point range. The Wildcats out-rebounded Baylor, 31-30, in the game and limited their turnovers in the second half with just 5 after 13 in the first 20 minutes. K-State kept showing fight throughout the entire game as it outscored the Bears, 16-1, over the final 4:06.

Many of K-State’s first-half turnovers came early, which fueled Baylor’s first-half blitz as the Bears went into the break with a 50-24 lead. Baylor had 3 double-digit scorers in the first 20 minutes and shot 53.3 percent in the stanza, including 8 3-pointers and a perfect 10-for-10 mark from the free throw line.

The 26-point halftime deficit was the fourth-largest in school history and the largest since trailing by 27 points against Kansas in the 2000 Big 12 Championship.

Baylor pushed its lead out to 34 points midway through the second half before the Wildcats went on their run to close out the game.

The game against the second-ranked Bears was the first half of the Wildcats playing the top two teams in this week’s Associated Press Top 25. It is only the fifth time overall since 1996-97 (24 seasons) that a team will play the AP No. 1 and No. 2 teams in consecutive games, but just the third time in the regular season.

The loss was K-State’s eighth straight, which is the longest such streak in the Bruce Weber era and the longest by a Wildcat team since also dropping 11 in a row from January 12 to February 19, 2000. With the win, the Bears swept the season series from the Wildcats for the first time since 2016.

WHAT’S NEXT

K-State returns home on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats play host to No. 1/1 Kansas (25-3, 14-1 Big 12) before a national audience on CBS in the 293rd edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown. The Jayhawks won the first meeting, 81-60, at home on Jan. 21 and will be looking to sweep the regular-season series for the first time since 2018.