The Kansas State Wildcats picked up what was seemingly their easiest win of the Big 12 season on Saturday afternoon, embarrassing the Oklahoma State Cowboys 85-46.
While it sounds hyperbolic and cliché, one team was obviously prepared to play and the other was outhustled and outmatched from the jump. Earlier in February the Wildcats blew by the Cowboys in Stillwater by 18 points, and on Saturday it was even less competitive.
Oklahoma State entered the weekend at 3-10 in Big 12 play, second to last in the conference standings. With the game of the year against the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence awaiting K-State on Monday night, this weekend’s tilt could have easily become the prototypical trap game.
In reality, OSU was done in the moment K-State senior guard Barry Brown jammed home a transition dunk for the first score of the game.
Cowboys coach Mike Boynton, who was the only coach other than KU’s Bill Self to pick the Wildcats to win the Big 12 this season, wasn’t shy about praising K-State after the game, saying it has a chance to play for a national championship this season.
“K-State dominated us for 40 minutes and we didn’t have a response,” Boynton said.
K-State shot 64 percent from the floor in the first half and led by 24 at the break. The offensive didn’t slow down in the second half as a laundry list of players subbed in, with the Wildcats shooting 61.5 percent overall for the game, including 50 percent from three-point range.
Five Wildcats scored in double figures in the win, including three starters. Brown scored 10 and led all players in rebounds with seven before being subbed out for good with 12:21 to play in the second half. Junior forward Xavier Sneed scored 12, while senior guard Kamau Stokes had 11.
Players off the bench to break into double digits included junior forward Austin Trice, who tied Sneed and Oklahoma State’s Yor Anei for the game high with 12 points, while freshman guard Shaun Neal-Williams contributed 10 points and had a game-high six assists.
Trice even got the postgame interview on the K-State radio network.
Thirteen players saw action for K-State, all of whom played at least three minutes and 10 of whom scored.
“It was good for their own confidence,” Brown said about the reserves seeing extended action. “I know for me I just loved seeing them get in the game.”
The Wildcats’ stifling defense was in full effect against the Cowboys, holding Oklahoma State to just 31.4 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from long range.
“To me, the big thing was defending,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “I keep telling them that gives them a chance to be special.”
Depending on KU’s result on Saturday night against Texas Tech, Monday’s meeting in Lawrence could be for a first-place tie in the Big 12 standings. K-State will remain atop the table regardless of that game’s result. K-State and Kansas will tip off at 8:00 on Monday night.
“We’re pretty excited, we know Monday’s going to be a huge game for us,” senior forward Dean Wade said. “We just need to come out and play the same basketball we’ve been playing.”