K-State Falls at No. 20/20 Baylor

WACO, Texas – No. 20/20 Baylor used a balanced scoring effort led by junior Rico Gathers’ double-double to post a 69-42 win over Kansas State in front of 8,046 at the Ferrell Center on Saturday.

Baylor (20-7, 8-6 Big 12) connected 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field, including 54.5 percent (12-of-22) in the second half, and saw five players score in double figures led by junior Taurean Prince’s 14 points. Gathers, who is one of 17 players in the nation to average a double-double, tallied 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Prince also added a game-high 5 assists and 5 steals in his 25 minutes of action.

K-State’s offensive struggles continued against Baylor’s lengthy zone defense, as the Wildcats (13-15, 6-8 Big 12) scored a season-low 42 points on 38.3 percent (18-of-47) shooting, including 6.3 percent (1-of-16) from 3-point range. It was the fewest points since the team also scored 42 against Nebraska on Jan. 11, 2006.

Senior Thomas Gipson paced the Wildcats with 11 points on 5-of-8 field goals to go along with a team-high 6 rebounds, while sophomore Marcus Foster and junior Justin Edwards scored 8 and 7 points, respectively.

The Basics
Final Score: Baylor 69, Kansas State 42
Records: Kansas State (13-15, 6-9 Big 12); 20/20 Baylor (20-7, 8-6 Big 12)
Attendance: 8,046 (paid)
Next Game: Monday, Feb. 23 \\ at 8/8 Kansas (21-5, 10-3 Big 12) \\ 8 p.m. CT \\ ESPN

The Short Story
•    Baylor led from the beginning, jumping out to a 6-0 advantage before pushing it to as many as 28 points.
•    The Bears held the lead for all but 47 seconds, including by double figures in the last 12 minutes.
•    Baylor was textbook efficient on offense, recording an assist on 24 of 27 made field goals with eight players posting at least one field goal and committing just 10 turnovers.
•    39 of the Bears’ 69 points came in the paint, which was the second-most by an opponent this season and the most since Texas A&M (12/20/14) collected an opponent season-high 40.
•    Baylor was equally impressive on the defense end, holding K-State to its lowest point total in nearly a decade on 38.3 percent shooting, including 6.3 percent from beyond the arc.
•    K-State’s 6.3 3-point field goal percentage (1-of-16) tied for the 7th-lowest mark in school history.
•    Baylor posted an opponent-high 14 steals and held a 19-9 edge in points off of turnovers.
•    The 27-point loss was the most lopsided of season, tying for the largest of the Bruce Weber era. Nineteen of the team’s 28 games have been decided by 10 points or less this season.

How It Happened | First Half
•    Baylor jumped out a 6-0 lead at the 18:31 mark as Kenny Chery opened with a 3-pointer followed by a 3-point play by Gathers.
•    K-State was able to close to within 9-6 after a Gipson jumper at the 16:01 mark before Baylor scored 8 straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Al Freeman and Lester Medford.
•    An 8-3 run by K-State closed the gap to 20-14 at the 8:39 mark, but Baylor responded with a 3-pointer by Prince to start a 9-4 run that pushed it back to 29-18 with 5:13 before halftime.
•    The Baylor first-half lead reached its peak at 14 after a jumper by Freeman made it 39-25 with 39 seconds.
•    K-State connected 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from the field in the first half compared to Baylor’s 45.5 field goal percentage (15-of-33). The Bears had 12 assists on 15 made field goals with just one turnover.
•    Baylor hit seven 3-pointers in the opening half with five different players hitting at least one.
•    The Bears also held a 10-0 advantage in points off of turnovers.
•    Gipson led all Wildcats with 8 points, while Justin Edwards added 5 points.

How It Happened | Second Half
•    K-State opened the second half with 8 straight points to close it to 39-33, including a 6-0 run that forced a Baylor timeout with the score 39-31 at the 17:49 mark.
•    K-State was strong defensively to start the half, holding Baylor scoreless for the first 6:15 before a pair of free throws by Lester Medford pushed it to 41-33 at the 13:45 mark.
•    Baylor did not make its first field goal until a Gathers’ jumper made it 44-34 at the 12:04 mark.
•    Despite this strong defensive effort, K-State was never able to get it closer than its 6-point deficit after a Marcus Foster dunk at the 14:13 mark.
•    It was at this point with Baylor leading 39-33 that the Bears used a 19-4 run over a 6-minute span to make it 58-37 with 5:57 to play that put the game out of reach.
•    The lead ballooned to as many as 28 points at 69-41 with 1:22 remaining.
•    Baylor connected on 54.5 percent (12-of-22) from the field in the second half with 25 of its 30 points coming the paint. K-State shot just 30 percent (6-of-20), including 0-of-9 from 3-point range.
•    Foster led all Wildcats in scoring after halftime with 6 points.

Beyond the Boxscore
•    K-State dropped two games below the .500 mark for the first time in more 12 seasons at 13-15… The 15 losses are the most in a single season since going 13-17 in 2002-03.
•    K-State still leads the all-time series, 17-15, including a 15-14 edge in the Big 12 era.
•    Baylor now leads the series, 7-5, in games played at the Ferrell Center.
•    K-State fell to 2-11 away from Bramlage Coliseum, including 1-9 in true road contests.
•    K-State has now been held below 40 percent shooting in 14 games, including 7 times in the last 8 games.
•    K-State used its 10th different lineup this season, as freshman Tre Harris earned his first career start, alongside sophomore Jevon Thomas and Wesley Iwundu and seniors Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson.

Quotable
•    “Obviously, I thought we needed a very special effort today. They are a very good team, a very explosive team. They play well defensively. My hope was that they wouldn’t play quite as well or shoot the ball quite as well, but they came out and really played at high level. Great energy, not only shooting the ball, but the rebounds just killed us in the first half. Ten points off of second chances, but also 10 points off our turnovers. I thought we attacked the zone okay. They blocked five shots and we had about five turnovers. I think they had 10 points off those turnovers. They capitalized; it’s the pick-six turnover that just kills you. We were hoping to keep it in single digits. We didn’t have a good finish to the half. To our guys credit we came back and cut it to six…. You have to make some plays then and really put some pressure on them, I thought they got really stagnant. But we didn’t we let them get back in transition and that was it,” said head coach Bruce Weber.

Up Next
•    K-State plays its third game in a 6-day span on Monday, as the Wildcats play host to No. 8/8 Kansas (22-5, 11-3 Big 12) in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.