MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Barry Brown, Jr.’s driving lay-up with 4 seconds helped lift Kansas State past No. 20/21 Iowa State, 58-57, on Saturday before a sold-out crowd of 14,384 at Hilton Coliseum.
It marked the second consecutive game that Brown has delivered the game winner after his lay-up with 29 seconds gave K-State the lead for good in the come-from-behind victory over West Virginia on Wednesday night. Almost mirroring his performance against the Mountaineers, he poured in 18 of his game-high 23 points in the second half against the Cyclones after scoring 20 of his game-high 29 points against WVU after halftime. In the last 2 games, he is averaging 19.0 points on 53.8 percent shooting (14-of-26) from the field in the second half.
The win gave K-State (12-3, 2-2 Big 12) consecutive wins at Hilton Coliseum for the first time since 2010 and 2011, while ending Iowa State’s 8-game homecourt winning streak. The Wildcats won for the first time in 4 road games this season and snapped a 6-game skid in true road games dating back to last season.
K-State was buoyed by the return of senior Dean Wade, who had missed the last 6 games due to injury. Wade played 22 minutes in the start, scoring 2 points and grabbing a game-high 9 rebounds.
The Wildcats held the Big 12’s top scoring offense (81.3 ppg.) to a season-low 57 points on 42 percent (21-of-50) shooting, including 37.5 percent (9-of-24) from 3-point range. K-State has now held 79 opponents to 60 points or less in the Bruce Weber era, including 10 of 16 opponents this season.
The Wildcats led for most of the game, including 35-26 at halftime, before Iowa State (12-3, 2-2 Big 12) used a 14-2 run midway through the second half to take a 55-48 lead with 5:02 to play. The Wildcats slowly chipped away, as Brown knocked down consecutive jumpers to close the deficit to 55-52 with 3:11 remaining before a pair of Brown free throws pulled the team to within 57-56 with 16 seconds left.
A missed free throw by Lindell Wigginton set up the last play, as Brown drove the paint and laid the ball up with 4 seconds. Wigginton’s desperation shot was no good at the buzzer.
Brown was joined in double figures by fellow senior Kamau Stokes, who scored all 12 of his points in the first half, a half in which the Wildcats scored their most points (36) since the George Mason game on Dec. 29, 2018. Sophomore Cartier Diarra added 8 points off the bench after starting the previous 6 games with Wade out.
Senior Nick Weiler-Babb was the only Cyclone to score in double figures with 11 points, including 3 triples, while graduate transfer Marial Shayok and freshman George Conditt VI added 9 points each.
With the win, Weber claimed his 450th victory in his 21-year coaching career, while he broke a tie with Jack Hartman (1970-86) for the most career Top 25 victories in school history with his 23rd in his seventh season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State jumped out to an early lead, as Stokes connected on a 3-pointer on the Wildcats’ second possession, which helped buoy an 11-6 advantage at the second media timeout with 11:37 before halftime. During the stretch, four different Wildcats scored, including 4 by junior Makol Mawien.
After a slow start, the Big 12’s best offense showed its potency, rattling off 9 straight points, to take a 15-11 lead on an old-fashioned 3-point play by George Conditt IV with 9:50 to play. However, K-State responded with a second 3-pointer by Stokes that started an 11-0 run that gave the Wildcats a 22-15 lead with 6:42 remaining.
Following a 3-pointer from Diarra from the top of the key, Stokes was fouled on a 3-pointer and calmly knocked down all 3 free throws that advanced the lead to 28-20 with 5:09 to play.
Brown gave K-State its largest lead at 32-22 on a deep 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring at the 2:44 mark before halftime. A Diarra 3 from the corner, the team’s sixth of the half, extended the lead to 35-26 at the half.
The 35 first-half points were the most since scoring 36 against George Mason on December 29, 2018.
The Wildcats connected on 42.3 percent (11-of-26) of their field goals in the opening half, including 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from 3-point range, while the Cyclones hit on 37.5 percent (9-of-24), but just 25 percent (3-of-12) from long range. Stokes led all scorers with 12 points, while Diarra added 8 points.
After a Mawien jumper gave K-State its largest lead at 37-26 just seconds into the second half, the potent Iowa State got consecutive 3-pointers from freshman Talen Horton-Tucker to cut the deficit to 37-32 at the 18:05 mark.
The 3-pointers ignited the Cyclones, as back-to-back treys from Marial Shayok and Lindell Wigginton tied the game at 40-all and forced head coach Bruce Weber to call his first timeout with 14:38 remaining.
Buckets by Brown, including a 3-pointer from the top of the key, pushed the Wildcats back out ahead at 45-41 at the second media timeout with 11:55 to play.
A quick 5-0 run again tied the score, this time at 46-all, at the 8:28 mark as Weber called a second timeout with Wildcats just 4-of-16 from the field in the second half.
With the score knotted at 48-all, Nick Weiler-Babb gave the Cyclones their first lead since 9:18 left in the first half. The 3-pointer was part of a 14-2 run that pushed the lead to 55-48 at the 5:02 mark.
The ever-resilient Wildcats chipped away at the deficit, closing to within 57-54 after Wade’s first points on a lay-up with 2:10 remaining. Brown closed it to 57-56 with 16 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws before his game-winning lay-up with 4 seconds left.
K-State connected on just 30 percent (9-of-30) from the field in the second half, including just 1 of 11 from 3-point range, while Iowa State hit on 46.2 percent (12-of-26), including 50 percent (6-of-12) from long range. Brown scored 18 of the Wildcats’ 23 points and was the only player to register double figures in the second half.
For the game, K-State connected on 35.7 percent (20-of-56), including 31.8 percent (7-of-22) from 3-point range.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Barry Brown, Jr. – Brown recorded his second straight 20-point game, including the 19th in his career, as he led all scorers with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting, including the game-winner with 4 seconds to play. Just like the West Virginia game, where he scored 20 of 29 points in the second half, Brown did most of his damage in the second half against the Cyclones, scoring 18 of his 23 points after halftime.
STAT OF THE GAME
57 – K-State held the Big 12’s top scoring offense (81.3 ppg.) to a season-low 57 points on 42 percent shooting (21-of-50), including 37.5 percent (9-of-24) from 3-point range, and just 50 percent from the line (6-of-12). It marked the 10th time this season that the Wildcats have held an opponent to 60 points or less.