Rock M Nation is in Kansas City covering the Big 12 Tournament:
KANSAS CITY – Explode or implode? Where Oklahoma State and Kansas State are concerned, both are possible on any given night. Therein lies the burden of streakiness.
On Thursday evening in Kansas City, the No. 2 seed Kansas St. Wildcats positively exploded for 51 first-half points as the Oklahoma State Cowboys imploded early, all to the delight of the largely pro-Wildcat crowd at Sprint Center. Kansas State rolled to a 83-64 victory.
In a win against No. 10 Oklahoma on Wednesday, the Cowboys couldn't miss early in the first half. OSU stormed the Sooners to take a 28-5 lead in its first round game, but the Cowboys saw the karma swing violently the other way on Thursday. The first half numbers bear testament to that fact. Kansas State ended the first half on a 22-3 run, 11 points of which were part of Jamar Samuels' 21-point first half. KSU outscored Oklahoma State 22-6 in the paint, 17-5 off of turnovers, 9-0 on second chances, and 9-3 on the fast break.
It all added up to a 25-point halftime advantage for the 'Cats. The game was all but over by the time the second half tipped off, and Oklahoma State's body language showed as much. The Cowboys left the locker room looking visibly defeated, as if they knew they were but a pawn in Kansas State's determined effort to atone for losses to Kansas and Iowa State last week.
The man of the hour was clearly Jamar Samuels, who finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds despite coming off the bench. Veteran guards Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen combined for 31 points, but Clemente's biggest contributions on the night were generally in transition. Clemente finished with 10 assists.
With the win, Kansas State moves on to face the win of tonight's nightcap game at the Sprint Center between Baylor and Texas. The Wildcats were 2-0 against those opponents this season, earning a two-point win in Waco, as well as a win over then-No. 1 Texas in Manhattan.