Missouri got a big home win to bury K-State, and the Jayhawks made a statement against Baylor.
Missouri 75 Kansas State 59
Missouri knew that their conference lives were on the line in this game, and they played like it. K-State knew it as well, but they just couldn’t handle Missouri’s pressure. This game was won in the first half, when Mizzou took a 15 point lead into halftime. K-State was sloppy the entire half, and committed 11 turnovers. They got to within three in the second half, but just didn’t have the energy to keep their run alive.
Phil Pressey gets the player of the game honors, he scored 13 points, had four steals, three assists, and just one turnover. He’s been shooting lights out from three since removing a glove from his injured hand Saturday, and seems to be getting comfortable playing college basketball. He’s come a long way from the player Mike Anderson had to keep on the bench against Georgetown, and while his decision making is still in need of some work, that will come with experience.
Marcus Denmon added 14 for the Tigers, Ricardo Ratliffe, Kim English, and Laurence Bowers each scored 10.
One interesting sub-plot of Pressey’s recent play, Mike Dixon hasn’t been getting playing time down the stretch. Just last week he was probably the go to guy in the last few minutes. It will be interesting to see how he handles this, though I think the Tigers’ best end of game lineup is Pressey-Dixon-Denmon-Bowers-Ratliffe. A bit short defensively, but it keeps the best three outside scorers on the floor.
For K-State, there really isn’t much to say. It’s been a tough year for them so far, and there is just so much that needs to get better. Jacob Pullen is basically playing 1 on 5 at times, and he can’t be expected to play 34 minutes as the primary ball handler against the tough Missouri defense. The rest of the Wildcats seems more interested in fouling than they do actually making plays, which is why the Tigers spent most of the second half on the free-throw line.
One good thing for Frank Martin, Jordan Henriquez-Roberts scored 14 points, looked aggressive inside, and was able to grab six rebounds as well. Would be nice to see him build on this game.
Missouri is home against Iowa State Saturday, K-State visits Texas A&M.
Kansas 85 Baylor 65
It’s a shame that Baylor has been such an up and down team this season. On paper, this should have been one hell of a game, with a great inside battle between Perry Jones, Quincy Acy, and the Morris brothers. Instead, Kansas tore Baylor to shreds.
The Morris brothers were the stars. They dominated the inside all night, abusing a Baylor front court that shouldn’t have been so easily abused. Marcus scored 25 points to go along with 5 rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Markieff scored 19 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and had four assists.
On the other side, Perry Jones did manage to score 20 points, but somehow wound up with only two rebounds. Quincy Acy scored just four points, and probably would have been better off just staying at home. LaceDarius Dunn struggled as well, he just couldn’t get into a rhythm against Kansas’ tough defensive guards.
I’m not sure we will ever see Baylor play well this season. There might be a flash or two of their true potential, but something just isn’t right with this team, this season. As much as I give Kansas credit for beating them, this game says a whole lot more about Baylor, and their inability to live up to their potential, than it does about Kansas.