By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer, Video by Nate Smith | Sports Director
It was a game of runs for Baylor men’s basketball, as the Bears embarrassed Kansas State 107-59 on Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center to stay undefeated on the season.
Junior guard Davion Mitchell exploded for a career-high 31 points along with five assists. Mitchell was lights out from the field, shooting a ridiculously efficient 75%, including seven three pointers. Senior guard MaCio Teague and junior guard Jared Butler were also in double digits in scoring, totaling 18 and 13 points each.
Baylor opened the game with a 36-3 run that spanned over nine minutes, completely dismantling Kansas State early in the game. Kansas State’s offense was anemic throughout the entire first half, shooting a dismal 28% from the field, 25% from three and turning the ball over 10 times.
“We knew we had to get out to a fast start, so they can play catch-up the whole time,” Mitchell said. “We got stops, we played really good defensively to get those easy transition buckets.”
It didn’t help the Wildcats that Baylor was seemingly automatic from deep, shooting 61% from three for the game, making 17 from behind the arc. Butler got off to a strong start as well, leading all players in points, rebounds and assists in the first half. Butler scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists in the opening half.
A half court buzzer-beater from Kansas State sophomore forward Antonio Gordon allowed the Wildcats to cut the lead to under 30, as the Bears led 54-26 at half-time.
It was the Davion Mitchell show in the second half as the junior guard scored 22 of his 31 points. Mitchell couldn’t miss from three, hitting six threes in a row bringing the limited crowd at the Ferrell Center to their feet. Teague said he believes Mitchell’s stellar performance stems from his work in the gym and on the practice court.
“Every time I watch him work out, he always makes a lot of shots,” Teague said. “He’s grown as a player in his mind. His mind is really strong, and he believes in himself.”
Baylor went on another dominant run midway through the second half, outscoring Kansas State 18-2 over a total of five minutes, truly closing out the game.
“Some nights things are clicking, and tonight they were clicking for us,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “You can’t guarantee that you’re going to shoot 61% from three and go 17-28 every night, but when it happens it’s sure fun to watch.”
With the win tonight, senior forward Mark Vital wrote his name in the Baylor basketball record book as the player with the most conference victories in program history at 40.
Baylor will take on Auburn in the Big 12/SEC challenge at 3 p.m. this Saturday in the Ferrell Center. The game will be televised on ESPN.