MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State used a late 16-4 scoring run to end the game, including 14 from junior guard Barry Brown Jr., during the span, to secure the 29th 20-win season in program history, defeating Texas, 58-48, in front of 8,623 fans at Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday night.
The victory marked the fourth time in the last six seasons that the Wildcats (20-8, 9-6 Big 12) has reached 20 wins under head coach Bruce Weber. The team has now posted 10 20-win seasons in the last 12 seasons.
Brown led all scorers with 16 points, including 14 in the last 4:49 of the game, on 5-of-10 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. He was joined in double figures by fellow junior Dean Wade, who scored 13 points on 5-of-12 field goals, and redshirt freshman guard Cartier Diarra, who added 12 points. The team is now 8-2 when Diarra registers double figures this season with six of those coming in the last 13 games.
K-State ran its winning to a series-best four games over Texas (16-12, 6-9 Big 12) and swept the season series for the second consecutive season.
On defense, the Wildcats held the Longhorns to just 48 points on a season-low 28.6 percent (16-of-56) from the field, including just 18.8 percent (6-of-32) in the second half, and their second-lowest point total of the season. The team also recorded a season-high 7 blocks, including a career-high 4 rejections from Wade.
Freshman guard Matt Coleman led the Longhorns with 14 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State recorded its first four points from jumpers in the paint from sophomore forward Makol Mawien and redshirt freshman guard Cartier Diarra. After scoring their first four points in the paint to open up the contest, Diarra found leading scorer, Wade, for an open 3-pointer to open up a 7-3 opening lead for the Wildcats.
After Texas tied it up at seven-a-piece just four minutes into the game, the Wildcat defense came through with a stop, when sophomore forward Xavier Sneed blocked the Longhorns’ shot, forcing them into a shot clock violation. The defensive stand helped hold the Longhorns scoreless for 3:28.
However, Texas would bounce back with a 6-0 run behind a Dylan Osetkowski jumper to give the Longhorns a 16-11 lead with 9:18 remaining in the half.
In the first half alone, the game saw seven lead changes and five ties as the teams battled to gain an advantage. With 4:37 remaining in the half, K-State took back possession of the lead with a deep 3-pointer from Sneed to bring the score to 24-21.
Late in the first half the aggressive play by Texas led to foul trouble, as the team hit the bonus with just under three minutes remaining. Throughout the half, K-State cashed in on its chances, hitting 77.7 percent (7-of-9) from the free throw stripe in the half.
Just before the buzzer, the Longhorns tied the game up at 25 after Kerwin Roach II was fouled on a last-second shot from beyond the arc. Roach went on to knock down 2-of-3 free throws to knot it up at 25.
In a tightly contested first half, both teams entered the break tied at 25-25. Diarra led the way with 8 points at the break, as the Wildcats shot just 28.5 percent (8-of-28) from the field in the half. The Wildcats also used the glass as an advantage, out-rebounding the Longhorns, 20-17.
In the second half, K-State went back to the paint to get its scoring started, as the Wildcats scored their first six points of the half around the basket. The team gained momentum after Diarra corralled a defensive rebound and passed the ball up the court to Wade, found Sneed with a lob for an alley-oop, which brought the score to 31-27 with 17:30 remaining.
Defensively, the Wildcats did a good job protecting the rim, totaling a season-high 7 blocks in the game, including one from Wade in the second half that helped K-State force the Longhorns into an 0-7 drought. The drought spanned 2:47, as they upped their lead to 33-28.
With 6:01 remaining in the game, Texas tied the game back up at 40-40 following a pair of free throws from freshman Matt Coleman. In the second half, it was the Wildcats who were faced with foul trouble, as K-State tallied nine fouls with five minutes remaining.
Tied at 44-44, Brown drove the lane and drew contact while connecting on the layup to setup the and-one. After converting the free-throw, K-State held a narrow 47-44 lead with 4:16 remaining.
After the Brown conversion, the Wildcats carried out a 11-0 run behind five free-throws to expand their lead to 53-44. Over that span, K-State held Texas to 1-of-9 from the field, including a scoring drought of 3:38.
Brown helped cap off a strong showing down the stretch, as he accounted for the final 5 points for the Wildcats to bring the final of 58-48. Brown led all scorers in the game with 16 points on 5-of-10 from the field and was joined in double-digits by Wade (13) and Diarra (12).
As a team, K-State shot 41.7 percent (20-of-48) from the field and connected on 15-of-21 from the free throw line. Defensively, the Wildcats held strong by holding the Longhorns to 28.6 percent (16-of-56) from the field, including just 11.1 percent (2-of-18) from 3-point range.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Barry Brown, Jr. – The junior guard led the game with a game-high 16 points on 5-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. 14 of Brown’s 16 points came in the final five minutes of play, as he led the Wildcats to a 16-4 scoring run to close out the game. Brown’s double-digit scoring effort marks the 21st time he has scored in double-digits this season and 55th of his career.
STAT OF THE GAME
20 – Wednesday’s victory collects 20 wins on the season for the 29th time in school history, including the 4th time in 6 seasons under head coach Bruce Weber. The Wildcats have posted 10 20-win seasons in the last 12 seasons and have registered a winning record 13 times in the last 14 seasons. The win on Wednesday is the first time the Wildcats have won four-consecutive games against the Longhorns in program history.