Manhattan Frank Martin didn't want to see Kansas State play down to the level of the opposition.
That happened earlier this season in a narrow win over Charleston Southern. It happened again against Loyola of Chicago, and again in an overtime victory over North Florida.
It didn't happen against Howard on Saturday.
Rodney McGruder scored 14 points, Will Spradling added 13 and Martin was able to empty his bench in an 82-46 victory, which wrapped up the Wildcats' non-conference slate and set the table for their Big 12 opener against rival Kansas next week.
"We're ready. We've been ready. This is what the guys have worked for, to be ready," Martin said.
Angel Rodriguez added 11 points, and Jamar Samuels and Jeremy Jones scored 10 each for Kansas State (11-1), which hit a season-high 13 3-pointers and took advantage of a nearly 10-minute stretch over the first half in which Howard (4-11) managed only one field goal.
That allowed Kansas State to build a 50-18 lead by halftime and coast the rest of the way.
"I told the guys, 'It's great when you take two steps forward. It's awful when you take one step backward. That's wasting time,'" Martin said. "Coming into the year, no one gave these guys credit. All they talked about was they were Jacob Pullen and a bunch of misfits. That's not the case."
The Wildcats, picked to finish sixth in the Big 12, will carry a six-game winning streak into their game Wednesday night against the Jayhawks, which opens an expanded 18-game conference schedule.
No. 17 Kansas is favored to win its eighth consecutive championship.
Kansas State has won 13 straight at Bramlage Coliseum, one shy of matching the school record set from Feb. 17, 2009, to Jan. 18, 2010. The Wildcats have also won 41 consecutive non-conference home games, and 23 straight at home in December, including all 16 under Martin's leadership.
"We came with more intensity. A couple of the games we played bad in this year, we didn't come out with much intensity," Spradling said. "We just kept burying them the rest of the game."
Glen Andrews scored 25 points to lead the Bison, though he needed 23 shots to get there. Howard shot 29 percent (14 of 48) as a team, including 6 of 22 from 3-point range.
The Bison certainly took their lumps on a trip through the Sunflower State.
They looked wide-eyed and unprepared during an 89-34 loss to the Jayhawks on Thursday night, and fared little better after a short drive west. Kansas State opened a 33-10 lead in the first 15 minutes of the game, riding some hot shooting from the outside to an easy victory.
"Offensively, I was pleased how we played the whole game, even though we didn't make shots in the second half," Martin said. "In the second half, we got sloppy defensively."
Andrews gave Howard its only lead of the game when he hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession, but Shane Southwell — starting in place of Martavious Irving, who missed the game with a sprained left ankle — quickly answered with one at the other end.
Spradling hit another 3-pointer moments later, and the Wildcats were off and running.
The lead was 18-10 when Rodriguez's scooping layup starting a 15-0 run. The freshman guard popped a 3-pointer moments later, then drained another from the top of the key on the Wildcats' next possession — Rodriguez actually hesitated because he couldn't believe he was so wide open.
By the time Samuels scored back-to-back baskets and Spradling added another bucket, the lead was 33-10 and Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry could do little more than shake his head.
The lead eclipsed the 40-point mark at 63-21 with 14:47 remaining when Spradling hit his third 3-pointer of the game. The Wildcats started to substitute liberally after that, allowing Howard to go on a 13-0 run covering about six minutes midway through the second half.
That was reason enough for Martin to harp on his team, which won't have the luxury of taking any breaks when it heads to Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.
"I'm just ready to play. I wish it was tomorrow," McGruder said of the cross-state clash. "I'm excited. I'm amped up for it. I can't wait to win there."