The offensive juggernaut that had been powering the Missouri men's basketball team came to a screeching halt Saturday in Manhattan, Kan.
The Tigers ranked second in the nation in points per game at 86.2 going into its game against Kansas State, but had their lowest output of the season in a 75-59 loss in front of 12,528 fans at Bramlage Coliseum. It was the first loss of the season for No.7-ranked Missouri (14-1, 1-1 in the Big 12).
No. 1 Syracuse (17-0) beat No. 20 Marquette 73-66.
No. 4. Baylor (15-0) beat Texas Tech 73-60.
No. 19. Murray State (16-0) beat Austin Peay 87-75.
Missouri was off to its best start since the 1981-82 season and were one of four unbeaten teams in Division I college basketball. The Tigers traveled to Manhattan to attempt to beat the No. 23 Wildcats (11-2, 1-1) on the road for the first time since February 2004, but a stronger, bigger and stingier Kansas State squad proved too much for the smaller Tigers.
"They physically kicked us," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "I felt that the paint points, rebounding, their physical nature and our inability to shoot the ball well affected us on the defensive end."
Missouri was overpowered in the paint by a much bigger Kansas State team. The 6-foot-11 Jordan Henriquez, 6-foot-7 Thomas Gipson and 6-foot-7 Jamar Samuels combined for 24 points and pounded the Missouri defense from the post.
"Jordan (Henriquez) did a great job of defending the rim today and Jamar (Samuels) had a couple big blocks, too," Kansas State guard Will Spradling said. "When they did break us down they were not getting layups like KU did against us."
The Wildcats had lost 67-49 in their Big 12 opener on Wednesday at Kansas.
Missouri's first loss of the season reinvigorates questions about the team's lack of size and depth.
The Tigers were plagued by foul trouble throughout Saturday's game, similar to the Braggin' Rights game against Illinois, when Missouri narrowly escaped with a 78-74 victory on Dec. 22 in St. Louis.
The Tigers' high number of early fouls might have forced coach Frank Haith to resort to his bench earlier and more often than he would have liked and might have contributed to the his team's fatigue late in the game.
Missouri managed only three points in the first six minutes of the first half. Kansas State went on a 16-7 scoring run and never gave Missouri an opportunity to shoot its way back into the game.
"They did some things well defensively," said senior guard Marcus Denmon, who led the Tigers with 17 points. "A lot of it we feel that it was stuff we did. We were not efficient with our cuts and getting open for the point guards … We were still able to penetrate. I just think that shots did not fall at the rate that they usually fall."
Kansas State also blocked five Missouri shots in the first half, matching the amount of shots the Tigers made in that span. Missouri shot only 32.7 percent from the field and were reminiscent at times of last season's team which often struggled to take good shots under former coach Mike Anderson.
Kansas State scored 21 points off of 14 sloppy Missouri turnovers, including bad passes to covered players and careless footwork at the sidelines. The Tigers had averaged 9.8 turnovers entering the game.
"We started the game on the first four possessions. I think we turned it over three of the four times," Haith said. "We did not turn the ball over that much all year."
At one point late in the first half, Missouri went eight minutes without a field goal and allowed Kansas State to collect a 38-19 lead until Denmon made a layup with 4:11 to play in the first half.
Missouri scored seven points in a row early in the second half to climb to within 13 points but were quickly stifled by a Kansas State eight-point run immediately after.
The Tigers are on the road again on Wednesday in a game against Iowa State (12-3) in Ames, Iowa.