The Baylor University No. 21 men’s basketball team snapped their two-game losing streak with an 82-72 road victory over Kansas State on Wednesday night.
The Bears had an uphill battle from the start, as senior forward and leading rebounder Rico Gathers did not play due to sickness.
This was the first time Gathers missed a game during his Baylor career.
Despite the missing Gathers, Baylor jumped out to an early lead and established their offensive tempo.
Baylor maintained their lead throughout the first half and even extended it to 14 points at the nine-minute mark.
Despite being in control in the first half, the Bears allowed the Wildcats to go on a 7-0 run to make the score 25-18.
Along with allowing this run, several Bears found themselves in foul trouble.
With over three minutes left to play in the half, sophomore forward Terry Maston had already amassed three fouls while four other Baylor players had two.
The Bears then picked the pace back up on offense and committed no fouls for the final two minutes of the half to make the lead 43-32 at halftime.
Senior forward Taurean Prince led the Bears in scoring at the half with 11 points, six of which came in the last two minutes of the first half.
Coming out of the break, the Bears kept their pace on offense and continued to stay in the lead for the remainder of the game.
Throughout the second half, the Bears never allowed the Wildcats to shorten the lead to less than five points.
Although the Bears seemed in control during the second half, they found themselves in a tricky spot when Maston fouled out with just over four minutes left to play.
With the loss of Maston and Gathers, Prince and sophomore forward Johnathan Motley were left to carry the duties down low for the rest of the game.
With 48 seconds left in the game, Kansas State senior guard Justin Edwards knocked down a three-point it a two-possession game at 74-68.
However, the Bears remained focused and continued to make their free throws to keep their lead and close out the game.
The Bears finished the game shooting just under 47 percent from the field. However, the loss of Gathers was noticed, as the Bears were out-rebounded 40-28 and allowed the Wildcats to grab 22 offensive rebounds.
Baylor was extremely successful from the free throw line scoring 29 points and shooting a considerable 96 percent from the foul line.
Baylor was also effective from the three-point line, shooting 50 percent with seven three pointers total.
Sophomore guard Al Freeman led the Bears in scoring with 21 points, followed by Prince with 18. Senior guard Lester Medford also scored in double digits with 13 points.
Medford also led the team in assists with nine.
The Bears will hope to see the return of Rico Gathers on Saturday as they take on the Iowa State Cyclones at the Ferrell Center.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.