The Missouri Tigers (7-3) looked to pick up a massive win over the No. 13 Kansas State Wildcats (8-1) in Saint Joseph on Saturday in the inaugural Bill Snyder Classic. Kansas State would rout the Tigers in a 84-56 showing that raised plenty of questions about this Missouri team.
Head Coach Robin Pingeton’s crew came ready to play early on, jumping to a 9-7 lead early and suffocating the Wildcats 3-10 shooting with 4:40 remaining in the first quarter.
Missouri played turnover-free basketball in the first quarter, as they only had one turnover as opposed to Kansas State’s six, a huge reason why the Tigers were able to secure a 15-13 lead after the first.
Abby Feit came to play, finding open spots and draining two threes early whilst also adding two rebounds in the first quarter. Feit would finish the game with 13 points on 4-13 shooting, her third straight game with double digit points after not having a single game as such all season.
After going up 20-15 thanks to a Hayley Frank three pointer, K-State answered with a 10-0 run that was curtailed by none other than Frank. The curtailing was short-lived however as the Wildcats made good use of the open hole in the post left by the absence of Angelique Ngalakulondi with Ayoka Lee, who had amassed 16 points on 6-8 shooting with just over two minutes left in the half.
Kansas State outscored the Tigers 19-10 in the second quarter en route to a commanding 32-25 lead at halftime, and the offensive outburst combined with the re-emergence of Missouri’s turnover problem as they had six in the second frame.
The Wildcats barrage poured into the second half as they sunk three shots from beyond the arc and caused even more turnovers on the Missouri end to build an insurmountable 55-31 lead, showing just why their team is the 13th ranked team in the country.
As mentioned earlier, Missouri’s woes started and ended with turnovers. They held a lead when playing turnover-free ball, and the moment those old habits came back the Wildcats cream rose to the top, as K-State laid the clamps on the Tigers on the defensive side of the ball.
Throughout the game, the Wildcats were able to create tough shots for the Tigers, forcing them to post an abysmal 18-62 (29.0%) from the floor, their worst percentage of the season.
In the paint, Kansas State was methodical as they outrebounded Missouri 45-29, the Tigers highest allowed margin of the season to this point. The Wildcats were just able to execute better than Missouri to a significantly higher degree, as they dominated the Tigers in the assists category 25-10, a stat that Missouri is usually able to come out on the right side of.
Hayley Frank again led the way for the Tigers, putting up 13 points on 5-11 shooting, but her foul trouble got in the way of her minutes as the Tigers struggled during periods where Frank had to be kept off the court.
Grace Slaughter and Ashton Judd were held to their worst, and second-worst point total performances of the season respectively, as the normally dynamic young duo combined for 4-24 from the field on Saturday.
Kansas State’s 28-point margin of victory is tied for the second-largest defeat in the last four seasons under Pingeton, only behind Missouri’s 31-point defeat to No. 1 South Carolina in the other Columbia in 2022-23.
The loss brings Missouri to 7-4 on the season, and moves Kansas State to 9-1. Missouri will need to regroup from this tough loss very quickly, as their non-conference slate doesn’t get any easier with their next matchup.
UP NEXT: Missouri heads to Urbana-Champaign, IL to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini on Sunday, December 17th at 3 PM CST.