The second-ranked Baylor Bears mauled the Kansas State men’s basketball team, defeating them 107-59 on Wednesday night. In dominant fashion, Baylor handed K-State its largest loss in school history, winning by 48 points.
There was some light at the end of the tunnel though, as freshman guard Nijel Pack, who had not played in the last four games, returned. Pack ended up the leading scorer for the Wildcats with 11 points in 32 minutes.
“Nijel [Pack] struggled a little early, but it was good to get him some minutes,” Head coach Bruce Weber said. “I thought he did some really nice things with five assists and one turnover.”
Pack’s return provided some relief for the K-State backcourt, thriving in catch and shoot situations against the Bears.
The Baylor offense proved why it was the best in the Big 12 Conference against one of the worst defensive teams in the Big 12. The Bears jumped out of the gate with a 20-2 run in a stretch where the Wildcats shot 14 percent from the floor.
The K-State offense struggled from the floor all night, taking nearly 15 minutes to hit double digits. K-State went on a 13-10 run in the final five minutes to at least generate some positive momentum heading to the break. The highlight of the first half, and possibly the game, was a half-court buzzer-beater by sophomore forward Antonio Gordon.
Baylor’s offensive flurry continued throughout the game, including a 54-26 lead at the half. Led by a career-high 31 points by junior guard Davion Mitchell, the Bears finished the night shooting 58 percent from the floor and outscored the Wildcats 53-33 in the second half. Mitchell hit seven threes on the night, more than K-State had combined.
Right out of the gate, the Bears proved they have the potential to be a dangerous team come March.
“They [Baylor] are a special group,” Weber said. “They are undefeated for a reason.”
The experience of Baylor was evident against the young K-State roster.
The Wildcats shot 35 percent from the floor, including 5-of-21 from three. The Bears controlled every other category except free throws and bench points. The Wildcats went 18-of-24 from the charity stripe and outscored the Baylor bench 34-33.
K-State turned the ball over less than the record-breaking 28 turnovers against West Virginia, but the Bears made the Wildcats pay for the mistakes scoring 34 points off of their 21 turnovers.
K-State will host former Big 12 foe Texas A&M on Saturday morning in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, hoping for a better performance than Wednesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m. on ESPNU. K-State leads the all-time series with the Aggies 18-9, including a perfect 11-0 record at Bramlage Coliseum.