Baylor got out to a hot 20-8 start and closed out the half with a 14 point lead. The ball movement was spectacular, and the Bears had as many offensive rebounds (9) as defensive rebounds. Five different players made threes.
The 2nd half began with the customary 8 minute scoring drought. Baylor was scoreless for the first 6:30 of the 2nd half, but the defense only allowed Kansas State to score 8 points and bring it to 39-33. After that, the floodgates broke loose. Baylor closed out the game on a 30-9 run, pouring in dunks and back-cut layups. Twenty-four of the Bears' 27 makes were assisted.
Five Bears scored in double-digits. Al Freeman, after getting benched for Austin Mills on Tuesday night, had a nice bounce-back game, scoring 10+ points for the first time since Huston-Tillotson. He also had 3 rebounds and 4 assists with 2 turnovers.
Rico Gathers had his own bounce back game, recording his 7th double-double in Big 12 play. He finished 5-10 from the field with 3 steals and 2 blocks. He was playing with full energy from opening tip.
Taurean Prince led all scorers with 14 points and had 5 assists and 5 steals, one of his best all-around games this season.
Overall, Baylor shot 49.1% from the field, snagged 15 offensive rebounds, recorded 14 steals, and only turned over the ball 10 times. Baylor dominated in every facet of the game. Thomas Gipson was the only Wildcat to score in double figures, and K-State shot a measly 1-16 from three.
These eight minute stretches where Baylor can't score for the life of them are certainly frustrating, but the defense is stout enough to hold leads against all but the best offenses. Once the offense gets rolling, there aren't many teams that can stop it. Baylor has scoring threats all over the floor, and when they swing the ball around, the scrambled defense just can't keep up.
With this win, Baylor has seemingly locked up an historic Tournament bid. This will likely be the first back-to-back seasons with a Tournament appearance and will be the first odd-year bid in school history. Scott Drew also just earned his 7th 20 win season in the last eight years. A surprising, successful, historic year for Baylor mens basketball.
Here are a couple of nice, notable tweets:
Retweet to congratulate Scott Drew on Baylor's 7th 20-win season in last 8 years. #SicEm pic.twitter.com/9wyVMzYUqD— Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB) February 21, 2015
Baylor is like Thanksgiving Dinner w-o the turkey. No entree (alpha dog), but lots of tremendous sides. Bears have options beyond belief!— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 21, 2015
Here are the stats, per ESPN:
|Kansas St Wildcats|
|Thomas Gipson, F||5-8||0-0||1-3||3||3||6||0||1||2||3||2||11|
|Nino Williams, F||2-5||0-1||0-0||1||4||5||0||0||0||0||4||4|
|Wesley Iwundu, G||0-2||0-1||1-2||0||1||1||1||1||0||4||4||1|
|Jevon Thomas, G||3-4||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||3||2||0||2||1||6|
|Tre Harris, G||0-3||0-2||0-0||0||2||2||4||0||0||1||0||0|
|Malek Harris, F||1-2||0-0||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||0||1||1||2|
|Stephen Hurt, F||1-4||0-1||0-0||1||2||3||0||0||0||2||4||2|
|Marcus Foster, G||3-11||0-5||2-4||0||0||0||2||1||0||1||1||8|
|Justin Edwards, G||3-7||1-5||0-0||0||1||1||2||2||0||1||3||7|
|Shawn Meyer, G||0-0||0-0||1-3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|Brian Rohleder, G||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Nigel Johnson, G||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Royce O'Neale, F||4-6||2-3||0-0||2||2||4||4||1||1||0||2||10|
|Rico Gathers, F||5-10||0-0||3-7||3||7||10||0||3||2||0||0||13|
|Johnathan Motley, F||1-8||0-0||0-1||7||2||9||1||0||1||0||2||2|
|Kenny Chery, G||2-4||1-2||0-0||1||2||3||4||0||0||5||1||5|
|Lester Medford, G||3-8||2-5||4-6||0||1||1||2||3||0||1||2||12|
|John Heard, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|T.J. Maston, F||1-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||1||2|
|Taurean Prince, F||6-11||2-5||0-3||0||3||3||5||5||1||1||4||14|
|Deng Deng, F||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Al Freeman, G||5-6||1-1||0-0||1||2||3||4||1||0||2||0||11|
|Ishmail Wainright, G||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||4||1||1||0||1||0|
Have thoughts? Share them in the comments!