Kansas State needed a win to get the season back on track. The Wildcats ended a 3-game losing skid with a 56-54 victory at #2 ranked Baylor.
The victory is the highest ranked team the Wildcats have ever beaten on the road. The win sets up a monster home game against the birds on Monday night in Manhattan.
For the first time since I can remember, Kansas State got off to a great start.
The Wildcats opened in a zone and promptly gave up a 3 on the first defensive possession.
Then Dean Wade showed he ate his Wheaties.
He hit a couple of early shots, grabbed a rebound and had 9 early points to give the Wildcats a lead. He had scored only 7 points in the previous 3 games.
The ‘Cats were pounding the ball inside and had an 8-2 early advantage in the paint against the Baylor Zone. Give Bruce Weber some credit. It’s just what the Wildcats needed to do.
Kansas State also hit 10 of their first 19 shots and had just one turnover.
A 15- zip run over 4 minutes late in the first half helped give the ‘Cats a 37-22 lead at the break.
Kansas State also collected 12 points off 10 Baylor turnovers in the half.
Other than the outcome, the second half was difficult to watch. When you consider what the Wildcats have gone through the past month, I was very concerned.
Until Saturday, Baylor had not lost at home this season.
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Kansas State added to their lead to start the second half because the Bears couldn’t hit a shot. Unfortunately, the Wildcats were not getting good shots and making few, either.
The Wildcats only scored 19 points in the second half and still won.
D.J. Johnson made great defensive play, grabbed a rebound and hit a free throw and in the closing seconds to save the victory.
Let’s hope the confidence will carry over to Monday’s showdown at Bramlage.