Men’s basketball can’t get offense going against Baylor, falls 74-49

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Mark Smith drives with the ball to the basket against Green Bay on Dec. 12, 2021. (Archive photo by Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

Against a No. 4-ranked Baylor team known for their stringent defense, the Kansas State men’s basketball team (10-9, 2-6) couldn’t reach the half-century mark. The Wildcats fall to the Bears 74-49 on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

K-State used a three-pointer from sophomore Ish Massoud to take an early 3-0 lead at the 19:18 mark in the first half. After that — it was all Baylor.

Over the next 13 minutes, Baylor scored 21 points on the Wildcats and used its reigning national champion defense to limit K-State offensively. It wasn’t until the 6:40 mark in the first half that Bruce Weber’s squad would reach double-digit scoring.

“They’re the best offense and defense [in the Big 12],” head coach Bruce Weber said. “We didn’t do a good job of attacking from the start.”

Transition offense for Baylor off of K-State turnovers and missed shots racked up points for Baylor for the remainder of the first half. Coupled with continued good defense, K-State went into halftime trailing 21-39.

The second half was much of the same. K-State found a few ways to power through and make a shot, but Baylor would just turn around and score on the other end. The score differential hovered around the 20-point area for most of the second half before settling at a final score of 74-49.

“Not much we can say — we just got our butts kicked,” Weber said. “I think we were a step behind in every play. They were on their toes: we were on our heels.”

Coming off a historic day against Kansas on Saturday, Jan. 22, sophomore Nijel Pack failed to live up to his co-Big 12 Player of the Week play against Baylor. With only five points going into halftime, Pack finished with 13 on 4-12 shooting with two rebounds and one assist.

“I missed my shots, missed my layups,” Pack said. “I got to be better. I got to get my teammates involved.”

Even with the off-night, Pack still led the Wildcats in scoring, as junior Markquis Nowell was the only other Wildcat to reach double-figures with 11 points. Other starters – super-senior Mark Smith, Massoud and sophomore Selton Miguel – finished with six, three and two points, respectively.

Miguel had the worst night of all, as he was helped off the court by teammates after suffering an ankle injury. After spending some time on the sideline, Miguel was taken to the locker room by the training staff. There is currently no timetable for Miguel’s return.

“He hurt his ankle, it was really swollen,” Weber said. “He wasn’t in the locker room when I got back, so they might have taken him to get X-rays.”

Baylor had a very balanced offensive attack, with four players reaching double figures: sophomore LJ Cryer (14), juniors Johnathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (13) and Adam Flagler (13) and freshman Kendall Brown (10).

K-State turns its focus towards Ole Miss for the Big 12/SEC Challenge at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, traveling to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on the Rebels. K-State is 3-5 all-time in the inter-conference challenge but is riding a two-game winning streak. The game will air on ESPNU, with a recap on the Collegian after the game.

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