Rodriguez leads No. 10 K-State over Baylor
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- A pair of double-doubles and four players scoring in double digits made for a good night at Kansas State.
Angel Rodriguez had 22 points and 10 assists and Shane Southwell added 18 points on six 3-pointers to lead the No. 10 Wildcats to an 81-61 win over Baylor on Saturday night.
Jordan Henriquez added 10 points and 10 rebounds and Rodney McGruder also scored 10 for Kansas State, which tied a season low with only six turnovers and a season high with 11 3s. Southwell finished 6 of 9 from beyond the arc.
The game remained fairly close in the first half, but the Wildcats (20-5, 9-3 Big 12) took control in the second, outscoring the Bears 43-32 after the break.
"It was obviously a good win against a very good team," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "We talk a lot about 40 minutes, and against them it's something that you have to play because . they have a lot of weapons."
The Wildcats neutralized the Bears by forcing 19 turnovers.
"We talked about making them accountable on defense, and we did that," Weber said. "We made them turn it over."
A.J. Walton led Baylor (16-9, 7-5) with 14 points and Isaiah Austin added 13.
Bears coach Scott Drew called a timeout less than two minutes into the second half after the Wildcats bolted out of the break with three straight baskets. Henriquez drew a foul and converted on a free throw, Rodriguez finished a fast break layup, and Henriquez scored in the paint.
Baylor's Brady Heslip turned the ball over right after the timeout, but he quickly redeemed himself with a pair of 3s. After Rico Gathers scored and Pierre Jackson hit a 3 of his own, Baylor trailed 43-41 with 12:51 remaining.
Before the Bears could creep any closer, Rodriguez drilled a 3, his third of the game from beyond the arc. After Walton scored, Southwell hit a 3 that ignited a 13-2 run by the Wildcats.
Martavious Irving sank a 3, and after another 3 from Southwell, the big men got going. Henriquez dunked and followed it up with a block on the other end, and Thomas Gipson converted in the paint the next time down.
The Bears had handled the Wildcats down low early in the game, but it was Kansas State and Henriquez who ultimately took care of business in the paint.
"I try to take advantage of the guys my size," Henriquez said. "You've just got to take advantage of the mismatches you have or the rebounding opportunities you're able to gather, too."
With 7:48 to go, the Wildcats again had a double-digit lead, 59-45, leading Drew to call another timeout.
"It's hard when you punch somebody and then they punch you back," Rodriguez said. "It kind of brings you down, so I guess we brought them down and they weren't able to make another run on us."
Baylor clawed within 59-49 on a pair of Jackson free throws and a bucket by Taurean Prince.
Omari Lawrence converted a three-point play, Henriquez scored down low, and after Austin sank a pair of free throws, Rodriguez hit McGruder for an alley-oop.
A 3 by Austin brought the Bears within 12, but a three-point play by Rodriguez and a second-chance bucket by McGruder opened the gap to 71-54 with 4:03 to play.
Baylor did not get within single the rest of the game.
Early in the first half, Baylor dominated the paint, and Kansas State lived in 3-point range.
McGruder sparked the Wildcats by scoring their first two baskets after Baylor forward Cory Jefferson and Austin both made shots in the paint.
Rodriguez sank a 3, giving the Wildcats a 7-4 lead. After Jefferson again scored down low, Southwell drained his first 3, giving Kansas State a 10-6 lead four minutes into the game.
The Bears went on an 8-2 spurt powered by their big men. Jefferson, Austin and Gathers each took trips to the free throw line, where they went a combined 4-for-5, and then Gathers threw down a dunk. After Jackson scored his first points of the game, Baylor led 16-12 with 10:20 to go in the first half.
Kansas State responded with a 15-3 run that began with three straight 3s. Rodriguez played an integral part in the scoring frenzy by swishing a 3, assisting on back-to-back 3s by Southwell and then converting a basket in the paint to give the Wildcats a 23-16 advantage with 6:33 remaining until halftime.
The deficit narrowed when Baylor's guards got involved. Heslip scored his first basket of the game, and after buckets by Spradling and Southwell, both Jackson and Walton scored, pulling the Bears to 27-24 with 3:41 left in the half.
Again, just when Baylor began to close the gap, the Kansas State offense hit its stride. A 3 by Spradling began a 10-0 run that also included free throws by McGruder, another 3 by Spradling and another layup by Rodriguez.
Walton scored the last two buckets of the first half for Baylor, which went to the locker room down 38-29.