COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP)—The suspense was long gone when the horn finally sounded to end No. 11 Missouri’s latest home-court romp.
DeMarre Carroll had 21 points and a career-best 14 rebounds, helping the Tigers run their record to 17-0 at home with a 94-74 rout over Kansas State on Wednesday night.
The latest blowout came against a team that beat them by 16 points in Manhattan, Kan., on Jan. 28.
“That first half was probably the best we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said coach Mike Anderson, whose full-court style has taken hold in his third season at Missouri. “Our guys were very aggressive, and they had a lot of energy.”
J.T. Tiller added 15 points, six rebounds and six assists and Leo Lyons and reserve Lawrence Bowers both had 16 points for the Tigers, who have won seven straight since losing 88-72 at Kansas State.
“We wanted to get the payback,” Lyons said. “Coach doesn’t want us to say that, but it’s what it was.”
Missouri (24-4, 11-2 Big 12) trailed by 13 points at halftime in the first meeting and led by 23 points at the break in the rematch, embarrassing a team that has lost only twice in its last 10 games.
“We got our rear ends kicked,” Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. “We battled, but we walked into a buzzsaw.
“They’re a top 10 team and they’re good and we just weren’t ready for the intensity, so it was real frustrating.”
Missouri entered the game averaging 87.4 points and with a 26.5-point margin of victory at home this season. Conference play hasn’t been much of a challenge either, with a 21.5-point margin of victory entering the Kansas State game with the lone exception a two-point thriller over No. 15 Kansas on Feb. 9.
“It’s hard to do in a great conference like the Big 12,” said forward Matt Lawrence, who had all but one of his 13 points in the first half. “We’re playing great right now.”
Denis Clemente scored all but 11 of his 33 points in the second half for Kansas State (19-9, 7-6), which shot 37 percent with 21 turnovers and got eight points from Jacob Pullen, who had 23 points in the first meeting. The Wildcats trailed by a season-worst 32 points in the second half and also hit program lows for points allowed in a half (55) and overall.
Kansas State trailed by only four with about 7 minutes to go in the first half before losing contact.
“We’re at 24-20 and we decide to throw it to them seven straight times so they can go dunk the ball,” Martin said. “It’s hard to win when you do that.”
The Wildcats, who had won seven of the last nine games in the series, got as close as 16 points in the second half before Missouri pulled away again.
“The biggest difference was our depth,” Anderson said. “Our bench play vs. their bench play was outstanding.”
The Tigers matched their best victory total from the last 15 seasons, a 24-12 record by the 2001-02 team, with three regular season games to go. They reached 11 conference wins for the first time since 1998-99 and the seven-game Big 12 winning streak matches the school’s best from 1999-2000.
Missouri led 55-32 at halftime as Lawrence was 3-for-3 from 3-point range, while Tiller and Bowers had 10 points. Bowers was 5-for-6 from the field over the last 3:12, including an alley-oop dunk from Miguel Paul and two putbacks in the final 6 seconds.
Missouri converted 11 turnovers into 15 points while allowing no points on its three turnovers. The Wildcats shot 35.5 percent and were 2-for-10 from 3-point range. It was Kansas State’s deepest halftime deficit by far, previously trailing Kentucky by 14 on Nov. 28 in a two-point loss.