K-State travels to Waco for rematch with No. 20 Baylor

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Freshman forward Malek Harris digs in against Baylor guard and forward Ishmail Wainright in the first half of the Wildcats’ 63-61 come-from-behind victory over the No. 22 Bears on Jan. 17, 2015 in Bramlage Coliseum. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

Consistency has been a major issue this season for K-State men’s basketball and, consequently, wins have been hard to come by.

That has especially been the case in the Lone Star State. K-State (13-14, 6-8) has yet to win a game in Texas this season. In their first two attempts, the Wildcats fell to Big 12 bottom dwellers Texas Tech and TCU.

It won’t get any easier for K-State. Up next is a trip to Waco, Texas for a meeting with No. 20 Baylor Saturday.

The Bears (19-7, 7-6) haven’t lost to the Wildcats at home since dropping both games in the 2013 season, which coincidentally was K-State’s Big 12 Championship season.

The good news for K-State is that it already has a victory over Baylor this season. The bad news is that, against teams they’ve already beaten this season, the Wildcats are 1-2.

To make matters worse for head coach Bruce Weber’s team, K-State is 1-9 in away games this season, including 1-6 in road conference games. In conference road games this season, K-State is being outscored by an average of nine points.

In Wednesday’s 69-55 loss to TCU in Forth Worth, Texas, the Wildcats fell behind by 20 points at halftime due to lackadaisical play and abysmal shooting from the field. To K-State’s credit, it did out-rebound TCU 37-28 to cut the deficit within single digits midway through the second half. But a poor showing down the stretch ultimately led to a double-digit, embarrassing road loss.

“I thought we were very lethargic to start,” Weber said after the game. “I didn’t think they were great by any means, but we struggled. To our guys’ credit, the second half that we played had greater energy, greater passion and gave us a chance.”

K-State will need a better performance on the boards against Baylor if it stands a chance at an upset in Waco, Texas. Out of the 345 Division-I basketball programs, the Wildcats rank 307th in the number of rebounds per game (31.24).

On flip side, Baylor is the fourth-best program in Division-I, averaging 41.17 rebounds per game.

The Wildcats and Bears will tipoff from the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas at noon on Saturday.

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