Jumping out to a 9-0 lead less than three minutes into the game, the Wildcats cruised to a 90-59 blowout win over Big 12 foe Iowa State at Bramlage Coliseum.
The win moved the Cats to 11-2 at Bramlage this season, and marked the 21st consecutive Big 12 road loss for the Cyclones.
"The team's confident right now," guard Jarrett Hart said. "Everybody's stepping up on both ends. I don't know how it looks to all of you, but to me that looked real good."
The backcourt duo of Hart and Tim Ellis led the Wildcats (11-9, 3-6 in Big 12) once again. Hart scored a career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting while Ellis scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Jeremiah Massey also continued the scoring spree that earned him Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors last week, pouring in 20 points while grabbing a dozen rebounds.
"Less is more with him," Coach Jim Wooldridge said of Massey. "Shot selection will get away from him at times, but he's as coachable of a guy as I've ever coached. He's recognizing when he's making a mistake, and tightening up his game a little more."
Points aside, however, the biggest impact-player may have been Marques Hayden, who pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds and made several hussle plays that led to transition and second-chance baskets.
"I was really pleased with him tonight," Wooldridge said. "He was a workhorse. We challenged Marques at Colorado. We need more minutes out of him and to get more minutes he needs to be more productive. I thought he played hard and aggressive tonight."
Kansas State bolted out of the blocks, scoring on six of its first seven possessions and jumping to a 19-4 lead with 13:56 to go in the first half.
Massey got things started with a 15-foot jump shot, and a pair of Hart 3-pointers book-ended a stretch of torrid shooting which saw the Wildcats go on runs of 9-0 and 7-0 before they hit the 12-minute mark.
"We got off to a real good start," Wooldridge said. "We built some quick momentum and played well. A lot of guys were making a lot of plays."
Jake Sullivan was held without a field goal attempt until the 12:16 mark, scoring just three points on 1-of-4 shooting in the half. The Cyclones (13-7, 4-5) shot under 40 percent as a team, turning the ball over eight times over the first three minutes.
"He might have gotten a little frustrated," Hart said. "That credit has to go to Tim. He's done a real good job and we support him. We tried to make them play 1-on-5. If he gets beat, we're behind him."
Still, Iowa State was able to mount a little offense midway through the half, closing to within 30-16. But Kansas State went on yet another scoring spree. Hart triggered an 8-0 run with a mid-range jump-shot, Hayden scored on two baseline moves and an Ellis fast-break lay-up pushed the Wildcats ahead 38-18.
Hayden had eight rebounds in the first half as Kansas State scored 10 times off second-chance baskets. Perhaps most astounding, though, was that Iowa State only scored one point off a Wildcat turnover.
The second half was much of the same, as Iowa State continued to struggle from the field against the Wildcats' man-to-man defense. Kansas State capitalized, going on another 8-0 run to open its biggest lead at 62-32.
"We seniors were taking charge," Ellis said, "because we have the most experience. Coach is putting that on us."
From there, Kansas State waltzed its way to its fifth-straight home win against the Cyclones. The Cats finished a blistering 55 percent from the field, out-rebounding the Cyclones 42-35.
"I thought in the first half we really took them out of their transition game," Wooldridge said. "The inside shots they were getting came off penetration, but we did a nice job on guard play."
Jackson Vroman led Iowa State with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Leading-scorer Curtis Stinson also had 16 but shot just 7-of-19 from the field, while Sullivan, the senior-sharpshooter, made just 1-of-5 3-pointers and finished with nine points.
"(Ellis) and Jarrett both made him work to catch it," Wooldridge said of Sullivan's night. "That's a blue-collar thing. Normally you don't recognize that."
The free throw stripe also proved valuable to the Wildcats, who made 18-of-26 from the line while Iowa State managed just 8-of-17, completing the domination.
"I didn't envision beating any league team by the margin we did," Wooldridge said. "I don't think anybody thought that. Can we play good, quality basketball? I think we can."
Massey 8-12 3-4 20, Hayden 4-9 2-4 10, Willingham 4-8 0-0 9, Ellis 7-10 2-2 18, Hart 8-10 2-3 21, Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 1-2 0-0 2, Eilert 0-0 0-0 0, Martin 1-3 5-6 7, Diarra 0-0 0-0 0, Richards 0-3 1-2 1, Frederick 0-0 0-0 0, Canby 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 0-2 2-2 2, Hughes 0-1 0-2 0
Vroman 7-13 2-4 16, Homan 3-7 1-3 7, Sullivan 4-11 0-0 9, Stinson 7-19 2-5 16, Blalock 0-6 2-2 2, Neal 1-4 0-0 2, Staple 3-7 0-1 6, George 0-1 1-2 1, Fries 0-0 0-0 0, Skoglund 0-0 0-0 0
Rebounds: KSU 42, ISU 35 Assists: KSU 20, ISU 8 Turnovers: KSU 15, ISU 17 Steals: KSU 7, ISU 6
---Kansas State's 45 first-half points were the most since scoring 51 against Savannah State on Jan. 10, and the third-most in a half this season.
---Entering the game, Iowa State had lost its last 20 Big 12 Conference road games dating to 2000-01. Ironically, that matches the current road drought of Kansas State, dating to the 2000-01 season. The Cyclones' last win came at Kansas State, a 62-51 win on Feb. 21, 2001.
---Like Kansas State, the Cyclones have relied heavily on its lineup all the way through. Four players average more than 12 points per game and five players have led the team in scoring this season.
---Iowa State is on the bubble when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. The Cyclones were 59th in the latest RPI released on Feb. 9.
---Wednesday's game had a fresh face, as both Iowa State and Kansas State are led in scoring by newcomers. Jeremiah Massey leads the Wildcats while freshman Curtis Stinson leads the Cyclones.
---Iowa State's Curtis Stinson scored 27 points against San Diego State earlier this season, the fifth-best game by a freshman in Cyclone history. Fellow freshman Will Blalock poured in 23 against Drake, the 14th-best game.
---The last time Cyclone coach Wayne Morgan was in Bramlage Coliseum as a head coach, it was with Long Beach St. The 49ers upset Kansas State, 70-64, on Jan. 4, 2000.
---Cyclone assistant Bob Sundvold went 0-3 as head coach of Missouri-Kansas City, and actually followed Jim Wooldridge as coach at Central Missouri State.
---Junior college transfer Jeremiah Massey was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week for his performance last week, averaging 22.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games.
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