Kansas St. 57, No. 9 Baylor 56
Angel Rodriguez is still making plenty of mistakes at Kansas
State. The freshman guard is obviously learning and doing a lot to
make up for them.
Despite a potentially costly turnover in the final seconds,
Rodriguez had 15 points, six assists and a key steal for the
Wildcats in their 57-56 win at No. 9 Baylor on Saturday.
”He’s continued to learn, continued to battle. You came here
because you’re about the things we’re about,” coach Frank Martin
said. ”Continue to have confidence. Understand that we have
confidence in you. Your teammates love you. It’s going to be all
Rodriguez was coming off a game with seven turnovers and no
points in a loss to No. 4 Kansas. And in a home game against Baylor
last month, he had two turnovers in a 13-second span late that led
to consecutive fastbreak baskets by the Bears that put them ahead
”Of course, (I) needed to bounce back after that game,”
Rodriguez said. ”Focused and ready to play. … Always try to stay
Pierre Jackson drove around Rodriguez to open Saturday’s game
with a layup for Baylor, then had two of his four turnovers in the
With 5 1/2 minutes left, Rodriguez missed a shot. Quincy Miller
grabbed the rebound, but Rodriguez reached around and tied up the
ball, getting credit for a steal with the possession arrow pointing
to Kansas State (18-8, 7-7 Big 12).
Rodriguez then had an assist with a lob pass to Jordan
Henriquez, who grabbed the ball in the air between defenders and
flipped it in while being fouled. Henriquez added the free throw to
put the Wildcats ahead 52-51.
Kansas State trailed only one more time, but for only 15 seconds
before Henriquez had a dunk with 1:55 left.
Rodriguez had an apparent breakaway layup with 13 seconds left
after a turnover by Jackson. But Rodriguez was called for
traveling, wiping out the basket and giving the Bears one more
Rodney McGruder also had 15 points for the Wildcats, who had
lost their previous two games and play Tuesday at No. 3 Missouri.
Henriquez finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
Quincy Acy led Baylor (22-5, 9-5) with 14 points while Brady
Heslip had 13. Miller had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
After Rodriguez traveled, Jackson worked the ball up the court
for Baylor and got it inside to Miller, who was surrounded as he
tried to get off a game-winning shot. Henriquez was credited with a
blocked shot as time expired.
”Pierre all year long has created at the end,” Baylor coach
Scott Drew said. ”He found Miller, and Miller’s usually efficient
from down there. So it was a good pass, a good play, and normally
you like your chances with the ball right there at the end of the
The Wildcats held on to win after a wild closing sequence.
”Oh, it’s awesome. These guys, they come in and don’t let
things get them down,” Martin said. ”Somebody said to me the
other day, you don’t seem as animated on the sideline. What should
I be animated about? These guys are trying their hearts out.”
After Jamar Samuels missed a 3-pointer for Kansas State, Jackson
was scrambling for the rebound and falling out of bounds when he
threw the ball off Henriquez to keep possession for Baylor with
Jackson hit a 3-pointer to put Baylor up 56-55, but the Wildcats
quickly regained the lead on the dunk by Henriquez.
On the next Baylor possession, Acy was driving for a layup when
he was apparently hit from behind and knocked to the ground. Even
though Acy and a defender were sprawled on the court, no foul was
called and K-State had the ball.
Acy said he felt like he was pushed by two defenders on the
Kansas State came up empty on its next chance, and Jackson got
the ball before throwing it to McGruder. He passed ahead to
Rodriguez, who took an extra step before going up for his
Kansas State didn’t lead until Rodriguez had a layup and two
assists in a 7-0 spurt in a 65-second span by the Wildcats late in
the first half.
”I think he controlled the tempo,” Drew said. ”He got the
ball where it needed to be.”
Baylor’s only other losses this season were to Kansas and
Missouri, the Big 12 co-leaders going into Saturday’s games.
The Bears opened the second half with Heslip making three
3-pointers in the first 2:32 – the Bears had none in the first half
– to go up 39-35.
Kansas State regained the lead when Acy inadvertently knocked
the ball in while he and Samuels were going for a rebound. That put
the Wildcats up 41-40 with 14 minutes left and was among 12 lead
changes after halftime.