MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Shane Southwell had 19 points and Thomas Gipson added 17 as Kansas State defeated Central Arkansas 87-54 in the first ever meetings between the schools.
DeShone McClure and Jalen Jackson both scored 12 points to pace the Bears (2-4), who are eligible for postseason play for the first time since their 2006 admission to the Division I ranks.
It was Kansas State's (4-3) best offensive performance of the season, with a season-high in points and rebounds (52).
The performance on the glass was the best for the Wildcats since its Nov. 18, 2012 matchup against North Florida where they tallied 54 rebounds.
After opening on a 12-2 run, the Wildcats never saw their lead fall underneath double digits - and pushed it to as many as 23 points in the first half.
Kansas State's undersized frontline dominated the Bears on the boards by holding a 27-13 advantage - 14 on the offensive end.
In its first home game after a seventh-place finish in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, momentum was never in question for Kansas State.
Southwell paced the Wildcats with 10 first half points while DJ Johnson added eight of his 10 total rebounds.
Second-half adjustments weren't effective for the Bears as the Wildcats opened on an 11-4 run by scoring 10 of those points in the paint.
The performance was benefited greatly by the continued emergence of Gipson, Kansas State's best returning big man. He added nine of his 17 points in the second half.
Gipson's performance follows a 12.7 average in Puerto Rico and marks his third straight game in double figures.
With an 87-49 lead and 1:56 left in the contest, the Wildcats carried their largest lead of the game as well as their largest margin of the season.