No. 9 Wildcats rout Oklahoma State 83-64

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas State had lost two tough games to Oklahoma State the past two years, the worst one coming at its home gym earlier this season.

Given the chance at a rematch, the Wildcats made it no contest.

Riding Jamar Samuels' huge first half and career night, No. 9 Kansas State overwhelmed Oklahoma State early and never let up on the way to an 83-64 rout Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.

"We had (the loss) on our mind," Samuels said. "It was somewhat of a revenge game."

Kansas State (25-6) had been waiting to play Oklahoma State again since losing at home in January. The Wildcats opened this game with a big run and closed the first half with an even bigger one, leaving no doubt while tying a school single-season record for wins.

Samuels provided the early lift, scoring 21 of his career-high 27 points in the first half, and added 10 rebounds. Denis Clemente was steady at the point, finishing with 12 points and 10 assists. Jacob Pullen rebounded from an off night the previous game against Oklahoma State to score 19 points, and Kansas State had a 43-27 advantage in rebounds.

That two-game losing streak to end the season and their three-game losing streak in the Big 12 tournament? Clearly behind the Wildcats. They're already looking toward Friday's semifinal against No. 21 Baylor, which held off Texas in another quarterfinal.

"That's one down. We can't get overly excited, because right away we have another hard game tomorrow night," Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. "I'm happy because for the first time in my career I get to use a second suit at the Big 12 tournament."

Oklahoma State (22-10) shot poorly, defended even worse and was plagued by early foul trouble to follow up an impressive win over rival Oklahoma with a clunker.

The Cowboys will still likely get into the NCAA tournament, but their seeding is sure to drop. Big 12 player of the year James Anderson had 27 points on 8-of-21 shooting to lead Oklahoma State after scoring 30 the previous game against K-State.

"A bad combination for us: They played extremely well and we didn't play particularly well," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. "It was just one of those nights."

One that Kansas State had been hoping for.

The Wildcats were riding an emotional high into the first meeting on Jan. 23 after knocking Texas from the top spot in the polls earlier that week. Oklahoma State put a quick end to the euphoria, beating Kansas State 73-69 in the Little Apple for its 12th win in 14 games against the Wildcats since the inception of the Big 12.

The Cowboys won that game by packing into a zone and daring K-State's guards to shoot over them. Clemente and Pullen went a combined 8 of 29, including 6 for 21 from 3-point range, and Oklahoma State ended the Wildcats' Bramlage Coliseum-record 14-game winning streak.

Charged up by what felt like a home crowd at the Sprint Center, the Wildcats got off to a good start when the Cowboys opened in man-to-man and kept rolling when they switched to zone, working the ball around for open shots to outscore Oklahoma State 23-8 in the first 8 minutes.

Kansas State wasn't bad on defense, either. Oklahoma State had seven turnovers and just six shot attempts in that span.

"We wanted to come out and be physical and do the things we did (before)," said Pullen, who was 2 for 15 from the floor in their first meeting. "It started on the defensive end."

The Cowboys tried to make a game of it. Behind two 3-pointers by Keiton Page and one from Anderson, Oklahoma State reeled off a 15-4 run to get within 27-23.

All that seemed to do was make the Wildcats angry.

Led by Samuels, Kansas State closed the half with a 24-3 run, scoring the final 16 points as Oklahoma State missed its final eight shots. Samuels matched his career high with 21 points and had nine rebounds — one more than Oklahoma State — by halftime, scoring on jumpers and flying putbacks, and adding his second 3-pointer just before the buzzer to put Kansas State up 51-26.

The Wildcats made sure Oklahoma State never stood a chance after that, pushing the lead to as much as 33 in the second half.

"Honestly, we just got out-toughed," Oklahoma State's Matt Pilgrim said. "We were a bit sluggish, but that's not an excuse. The numbers speak for themselves."