Early in the first half, Baylor dominated the paint, and Kansas State lived in 3-point range.
Rodney McGruder sparked the Wildcats by scoring their first two baskets after Baylor forward Cory Jefferson and Austin both made shots in the paint.
Rodriguez sank a 3, giving the Wildcats a 7-4 lead. After Jefferson again scored down low, Southwell drained his first 3, giving Kansas State a 10-6 lead four minutes into the game.
The Bears went on an 8-2 spurt powered by their big men. Jefferson, Austin and Gathers each took trips to the free throw line, where they went a combined 4-for-5, and then Gathers threw down a dunk. After Jackson scored his first points of the game, Baylor led 16-12 with 10:20 to go in the first half.
That domination of the paint did not continue as the Wildcats quickly neutralized Baylor's big men.
"They did a good job of pushing our bigs out, having them posting out farther than the block, like towards the free throw line," Jackson said. "That's not where we want to have our bigs posting up at, so Coach decided to go to something else."
After Baylor's short scoring spree, Kansas State ripped off a 15-3 run that began with three straight 3s. Rodriguez played an integral part in the scoring frenzy by swishing a 3, assisting on back-to-back 3s by Southwell and then converting a basket in the paint to give the Wildcats a 23-16 advantage with 6:33 remaining until halftime.
The deficit narrowed when Baylor's guards got involved. Heslip scored his first basket of the game, and after buckets by Spradling and Southwell, both Jackson and Walton scored, pulling the Bears to 27-24 with 3:41 left in the half.
Again, just when Baylor began to close the gap, the Kansas State offense hit its stride. A 3 by Spradling began a 10-0 run that also included free throws by McGruder, another 3 by Spradling and another layup by Rodriguez.
Walton scored the last two buckets of the first half for Baylor, which went to the locker room down 38-29.
Jackson had averaged 18.9 points going into the game, and the Wildcats held him to seven on 2-of-8 shooting.
"I feel like I played a horrible game," Jackson said. "Guys kind of lean on me a lot to do a lot of the heavy work, and I'm used to it. I've just got to help my team out more than I did tonight."