Wildcats need road win in Waco

Parker Robb | The Collegian Freshman guard Marcus Foster (2) and sophomore forward D.J. Johnson (50) get tangled up with Kansas sophomore forward Perry Ellis as all three go for a rebound in the waning minutes of overtime of K-State's 85-82 upset victory over the #7 Jayhawks Monday in Bramlage Coliseum.

The K-State Wildcats have had their ups and downs this season. Their ups have been at home while their downs have been on the road. K-State is undefeated at home in Big 12 play in Bramlage Coliseum so far this season. Head coach Bruce Weber’s team has a chance to get an illusive road win this Saturday as they travel to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears.

K-State (17-7, 7-4 Big 12) have been red-hot as of late. Over the three-day stretch from Saturday to Monday, the Wildcats defeated two top-15 teams in No. 15 Texas and No. 7 Kansas. This came after dropping three of their previous four games. The difference for the Wildcats now is that they will be tested away from a purple friendly environment.

“It takes a different type of energy,” senior forward Shane Southwell said. “If you’re at 100 at home, you have to be at 120 on the road. You’ve got to be so much more hyped then you were for any other home game. You also have to be a lot smarter.”

The last time the Wildcats won on the road was on Jan. 7 when they beat the TCU Horned Frogs 65-47. Seeing as the Horned Frogs have not won a Big 12 game yet this season, that is not exactly the road win that the Wildcats can rest their heads on.

“It’s been really frustrating because sometimes we play bad in the first half or not as well as we should in the first half,” senior guard Omari Lawrence said. “Then in the second half we get going but it’s too late and the other team is in their groove.”

Against Texas, West Virginia and Iowa State the Wildcats trailed at the end of the first half. In all three games, the Wildcats clawed back to tie up the game and even saw themselves have a chance in the closing moments. However, K-State dropped all three games. The Wildcats are just 1-4 on the road so far in Big 12 play.

“Early on it was kind of tough, playing all my games either neutral or at Bramlage so it was kind of hard, but now i’m getting the swing of things,” freshman guard Marcus Foster said.

Foster has been leading the Wildcats in scoring all season, but in the month of February, the freshman has taken his game to the next level. In the past three games, Foster is averaging just over 25 points per game. Even though he might be the one capturing headlines, the entire team has continued to get better together.

“Right now all the pieces are coming together,” Foster said. “This is a perfect time for it to come together with the end of Big 12 and come conference tournament and NCAA tournament.”

The Baylor Bears (15-9, 3-8 Big 12) have been one of the biggest disappointments of the Big 12 season so far. The Bears entered Big 12 play ranked the No. 7 team in the country and now sit at the bottom of the conference standings, just ahead of TCU. The Bears have lost seven of their last nine games entering Saturday’s game. Despite Baylor’s record, their size on the inside could disrupt the Wildcats. This game could be just what the Wildcats need to get rolling on the road.

“I think if we win this game Saturday and we get over the hump with a road victory, we could get on roll and start winning some more games on the road and just build our resume for the tournament,” Lawrence said.

The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. from the Ferrell Center in Waco.