MANHATTAN, Kan. – Paced by a game-high 20 points from senior Dean Wade, No. 16/15 Kansas State remained in a tie for first place in the Big 12 with a 66-60 victory over Baylor in front of 9,855 fans at Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday night.
Behind Wade’s 20 points, four Wildcats scored in double-figures, including 16 points from senior guard Kamau Stokes, 14 points from junior forward Xavier Sneed and 10 points from senior guard Barry Brown, Jr. In total, the senior class combined for 46 of K-State’s 66 points, while Wade registered his 19th career game with 20+ points.
K-State (22-7, 12-4 Big 12) is now 11-1 this season when four or more players scored in double figures.
The Wildcats remains tied for the lead in the Big 12 with No. 11/11 Texas Tech (24-6, 12-4 Big 12), while winning their sixth consecutive game against Baylor dating back to January 2017.
K-State led for nearly 35 minutes of Saturday’s contest, while the game changed leads only four times despite a tightly-contested affair throughout. The Wildcats led 41-40 with 13:13 to play before using a 12-1 run to create some separation and take a 12-point lead (53-41) with just under 9 minutes remaining.
Baylor (19-10, 10-6 Big 12) closed to within 59-55 on a 3-pointer by senior King McClure with 2:51 left, but K-State was able to close it out from the free throw line, hitting 7 of its last 12 attempts.
The Wildcats connected on 44.7 percent (21-of-47) from the field, including 29.4 (5-of-17) from 3-point range, and knocked down 63.3 percent (19-of-30) from the free throw line. The Bears hit on 47.7 percent (21-of-44) of its field goals, including 37.5 percent (6-of-16) from the beyond the arc.
Stokes moved into third all-time in K-State history in assists on Saturday, tallying 5 assists to up his total to 399 in his career. His 399 career assists are third to only Steve Henson (582) and Jacob Pullen (455).
Three Baylor players scored in double figures led by 13 from sophomore guard Mario Kegler, who shot 6-of-10 from the floor with 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block and 1 steal in 30 minutes of play. Senior guard Makai Mason and freshman guard Jared Butler added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
HOW IT HAPPENED
With Baylor claiming the early lead, K-State bounced back after the first media timeout with a 9-0 run that started with a 3-pointer from senior Kamau Stokes. After the Stokes 3-pointer, fellow Dean Wade and Stokes alternated baskets, including a jumper from Wade that gave K-State a 13-7 lead with 12:56 left in the half.
After the under-12 timeout, Wade extended the K-State run to 13-0 on a feed from sophomore guard Mike McGuirl, as Wade collected the pass and threw down a dunk. On the next possession, junior forward Xavier Sneed nailed a corner 3-pointer to make the score 20-7 with 10:30 remaining in the half.
During the run, the Wildcat defense held Baylor scoreless for 7:31. The strong defense combined with a spark offensively gave K-State its largest lead of the half at 24-9 with 9:05 left in the half.
Baylor responded to the K-State run with a run of its own, as the Bears spouted off a 9-0 run to bring the score to single-digits at 24-18 with 6:18 left in the half.
Leading by 4 with under two minutes remaining, Wade scored 5-straight points for the Wildcats, including an and-one to give K-State a 32-25 lead with 1:10 remaining. The Wildcats would go on to take a 32-30 lead at the break.
Through the first half of play, Wade, Brown and Stokes accounted for 23 of the team’s 32 points, including a game-high 11 points from Wade. As a team, K-State shot 45.8 percent (11-of-24) from the field, while forcing Baylor into 10 first-half turnovers.
The start of the second half favored the Bears, as the Wildcats hit on just 2 of their first 7 shots of the field, while Baylor claimed its first lead since the 16:31 mark of the first half, scoring on a jumper from senior guard King McClure to bring the score to 37-36 with 15:13 left in the game.
Like he did in the first half, Wade found another crease to the basket in the second-half, which led to another slam dunk, this time giving K-State a 43-40 lead with 12:53 remaining. On the next K-State possession, Sneed knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner to extend the K-State lead to 46-40 with 12:10 left in the game.
The dunk by Wade energized the Wildcats, as K-State went on an 10-1 run to extend the K-State lead back to double-digits at 53-41 with 8:48 remaining.
With under 3-minutes remaining, Baylor struck on a McClure 3-pointer to bring the score to 59-55 at the 2:51 mark, notching a 6-0 run for the Bears. Within the next minute of play, Sneed capped 3-of-4 from the free throw line to give K-State a 62-55 advantage with 1:53 remaining.
In the final minute of play, Baylor was able to climb back within 3 points after a pair of missed free throws. With 19.5 seconds left, Stokes was sent to the line, where he capitalized on a pair of free throws to bring the score to 65-60. Brown would hit one more free throw in the final seconds to give K-State the 66-60 victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Dean Wade – Senior Dean Wade registered his fourth 20-point game of his season and 19th of his career, by scoring 20 points on 9-of-15 from the floor in 39 minutes of play.
STAT OF THE GAME
21 – K-State scored 21 points off 19 Baylor turnovers, which marked the 10th time (fourth in Big 12) this season that the Wildcats have scored 20 or more points off opponent turnovers.