MANHATTAN, Kan. – Junior guard Barry Brown, Jr., enjoyed a special night with a career-high 38 points, as Kansas State snapped a two-game skid with an 86-82 win over Oklahoma State on Wednesday at Bramlage Coliseum.
The 38-point scoring output by Brown was the most by a Wildcat since Jacob Pullen also scored 38 points against Kansas on Feb. 14, 2011. Brown has now scored 20 or more points in four of the last five games, including three of four Big 12 contests. He connected on 12-of-17 from the field, including 3-of-4 from long range, to go with an 11-of-16 effort from the free throw line. He also added 6 steals, which were the most by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game.
Redshirt freshman Cartier Diarra, who earned his first career start in place of the injured Kamau Stokes, scored a career-best 17 points 6-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-3 from long range, to go with a team-high 4 assists. Sophomore Xavier Sneed collected his first career double-double with 11 points and a game-high 12 points.
With K-State (12-4, 2-2 Big 12) trailing 34-33 at the break, Brown (26) and Diarra (10) combined for 36 of the Wildcats’ 53 points after halftime on 11-of-16 shooting, including scoring the team’s first 25 points.
OSU (11-5, 1-3 Big 12) was led by a pair of 20-point scorers in Brandon Averette (22) and Jeffrey Carroll (20).
HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State made it a point early on in the contest to work for their shots, as the Wildcats had an early presence inside, scoring 10 of their first 13 points in the paint, including four from Diarra.
Paired with their success in the paint early on, the Wildcats were able to force the Cowboys into tough shots, forcing a cold-spell for the Cowboys in the first 10 minutes of the game. During that span, Oklahoma State went just 2-of-12 from the field with two K-State blocks.
After the midway point of the first half, junior forward Dean Wade got Bramlage Coliseum rocking on an alley-oop dunk over a Cowboy defender from Brown. Although Brown found his fair share of scores in the first half, by leading K-State with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting at halftime.
As a team, the Wildcats shot proficiently in the first half, connecting on 48 percent (13-of-27) from the field and 50 percent (3-of-6) from beyond the arc. On the other end, K-State held Oklahoma State to 36 percent (12-of-33) from the field and 30 percent (3-of-10) from 3-point land. The efficient scoring and steady defense helped the Wildcats jump out to the largest lead of the half (9) at the 5:59 mark, despite trailing 34-33 at halftime.
Out of the gates in the second half, K-State regained the lead behind scoring from the guard position. Brown, averaging a team-high 15.5 points per game, added several early buckets in the second half, including a steal on defense that led to an and-one on offense to add to his scoring total of 38 points.
Paired with Brown in the backcourt, Diarra added several points of his own out of the break, as the duo of Diarra and Brown accounted for 25-consecutive points after halftime, and the Wildcats shot 58 percent (10-of-17) during their scoring span.
Matching his offensive play, Brown had a career-day defensively, by creating havoc on the OSU offense. During the span of the game, Brown swiped 6 steals from the Cowboys, the most steals from a K-State player in Big 12 history.
On the glass, Sneed had a career-day by grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds, including 3 offensive boards. Sneed up’s his previous career-high of 8 set against Tulsa earlier this season.
Despite the effort by Brown and Diarra, OSU hung around with K-State in the game’s entirety. In total, the lead changed eight times throughout the game, though it would make a turn in K-State’s favor.
Late in the second half, the Wildcats used a 7-0 scoring run to gain a 68-60 advantage with five minutes remaining. In the bonus, K-State would build upon their lead at the free-throw line, as they added 16 free-throws in the final five minutes to close out the game 86-82.
In the end, the Wildcats shot 50 percent from the field (26-of-52) and 75 percent (28-of-37) from the free-throw stripe. Defensively, K-State held OSU to 45 percent (28-of-62) shooting, while forcing 11 turnovers in the game.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Barry Brown – Behind 38 points, 6 steals, and 2 assists, Barry Brown led the Wildcats over the Cowboys in what was a career-day. Brown’s 38-point effort marks a new career-high, and his 6 steals are the most in a Big 12 contest in K-State history.
STAT OF THE GAME
38 – Barry Brown scored a career-high 38 points behind 70 percent (12-of-17) shooting and 69 percent (11-of-16) from the free throw line. The 38-point effort was the most by a Wildcat since Jacob Pullen also put up 38 points against Kansas on Feb. 14, 2011.