WACO, Texas — Baylor had just lost two straight games, including an embarrassing loss at Kansas last weekend that snapped the Bears’ 44-game Big 12 winning streak.
On Wednesday, Kansas State paid the price for the Jayhawks’ upset victory, as the 12th-ranked Bears bounced back in a big way, routing the Wildcats, 71-48, at the Ferrell Center.
The loss ended K-State’s modest two-game win streak and extended Baylor’s domination of the Wildcats to 18 straight games dating back to 2004.
K-State (8-10, 2-5 Big 12) was led by freshman center Bre Lewis and sophomore guard Bri Craig. Lewis made 6 of 9 from the field for a career-high 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots. Craig, playing 35 minutes off the bench, finished with 13 points - her second straight game in double figures.
The Wildcats’ leading scorer on the season, Freshman Leti Romero, scored just six points on 2-of-7 shooting in 20 minutes. Ashia Woods was 0-for-1 from the field and held scoreless in just 14 minutes.
Odyssey Sims led Baylor (15-3, 5-1) with a game-high 20 points and six assists. Sims scored 14 of her points in the first 20 minutes to lead the Bears to a first-half blitz the Wildcats could never overcome.
After playing relatively close for the first eight minutes, K-State’s wheels completely fell off to end the half, as Baylor used a 39-2 run to race out to a 52-13 halftime lead.
“I felt like we got the game close, but emotionally I don’t feel as if I had a group that was committed to competing,” K-State head coach Deb Patterson said. “As soon as we got to that point, I felt great thinking ‘let’s keep battling, let’s keep this game close.’
“But, emotionally I felt like we played like our tank was empty tonight. I didn’t feel competitiveness from that first group. Quite frankly, I felt like that started from the chest up.”
The Wildcats turned the ball over 11 times during the game-changing run and finished with 21 for the game - leading to 34 Baylor points. K-State made just 6 of 21 (29 percent) from the field in the first half and finished 17 for 48 (35 percent) - including 4 for 24 from behind the arc.
“Absolutely, I was pleased,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said of her team’s first half. “We came out and jumped on them, and we never let up. I challenged Odyssey Sims to be the best player in this league, to be the best defensive player and win both those awards this year. I wanted to see her get after it tonight, and I thought she did an outstanding job.”
K-State’s 39-point halftime deficit was the largest of the season for the Wildcats, while the 13 points tied their lowest first-half output this season.
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Wildcats in the opening 20 minutes. K-State was called for 12 fouls, which sent the Bears to foul line 16 times where they made 12 shots. Baylor was whistled for three fouls and K-State never made it to the free-throw line.
Baylor also couldn’t miss. The Bears shot better than 51 percent from the field in the first half - including 6 of 10 from behind the arc - and turned the ball over just twice, while winning the battle of the glass 21-11.
K-State will return home this Saturday to host rival Kansas at 1 p.m. in a game televised to a national audience on FSN.