Saturday we asked the rhetorical question whether scoring 47 points against West Virginia at home constituted hitting the proverbial “rock bottom.” The No. 2 Baylor Bears made it clear that Buddy Bell was right. It can always get worse. Baylor humiliated the Wildcats 107-59 Wednesday night in Waco.
It was a game for two minutes, with the Cats executing a nice set play for a lob and DaJuan Gordon lay-up to knot the score at 2-2. After that, it was a shooter’s gallery on standstill, and the lavender-clad Wildcats were stationary targets. Baylor (15-0, 8-0 Big 12) scored the next 18 points to secure a 20-2 lead and, let’s face it, the game. After Antonio Gordon hit an open three-point basket to pull K-State within 15, the Bears ran off the next 13 points to extend their lead to 38-5. It was easy. It looked automatic.
The loss was the Wildcats' seventh straight since they eked out their last win, a two-point victory over Omaha on Selton Miguel’s last-second three pointer back on December 29. It seems longer ago than that.
Since pushing then-No. 18 Texas Tech before falling by a respectable eleven points (some of which margin was earned by late free throws) on January 5, the Wildcats have lost their last five games by 16, 15, 26, 22, and 48 points, for an average deficiency of 25.4 points per game. Five games in the slaughterhouse.
The teams in the green gym tonight were at opposite ends of the college basketball universe. Antonio Gordon hit a sixty-foot bank shot at the halftime buzzer to to make the score 54-26 at the break. Even that wasn’t enjoyable for K-State fans on this night. Nothing was.
The final 48-point losing margin establishes a new and dubious record in the history of K-State basketball, eclipsing a 47-point loss to Oklahoma all the way back in 1934.
So it goes.
I suppose if you are looking for solace, you could choose to take some in the fact that Baylor is an incredible team whose starting lineup averages 22.5 years to K-State’s (approximately) 19.5, making this the equivalent of adult men vs. recent high schoolers. The physical gap is certainly pronounced. But by this time in the season, you would expect execution and detail awareness, at least, to be comparable. Instead, Baylor was on autopilot for 38 minutes of the game, actually got indifferent and a little sloppy at times, and still dealt K-State its biggest-ever basketball loss.
Irrelevant stats of the night: Nijel Pack returned to the lineup to score 11 points and was the only Wildcat in double figures. Seryee Lewis had 9, mostly in the closing minutes, while three other Cats scored 8. K-State shot 34.6%, committed 21 turnovers (14 of which were steals), and got out-rebounded by a 41-23 count.
Baylor shot 57.7% overall and 60.7% from deep. The Bears had 23 assists and only 13 turnovers. Davion Mitchell was absurdly good, scoring a career-high 31 points on 12-16 shooting, including 7-9 from outside.
At this point, we are just hoping we get to recap at least one more Wildcat victory before the season ends.
No “Three in the Key” tonight. We just can’t.
Next: Texas A&M comes to Manhattan for an 11:00 tip.