STILLWATER, Okla. – Kansas State used a complete team effort, which included four players in double figures with a game-high 25 points from junior guard Barry Brown, Jr., to defeat Oklahoma State, 82-72, in front of 7,017 fans at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats (18-8, 7-6 Big 12) broke open a tightly-contested game with a 19-4 run to end the first half and were never threatened the rest of the way in maintaining a double-digit lead for the entire second half.
K-State connected on 54.9 percent (28-of-51) from the field, including 50 percent or better in each half, to post consecutive wins in Stillwater for the first time since the 1987 and 1988 seasons. Wednesday night’s showing was the 13th time this season that the team has shot 50 percent or better from the field in a contest, as they improved to 7-5 away from home and 4-3 against Big 12 competition on the road this season.
Brown, who collected his 13th career 20-point game and ninth this season, went 6-of-12 from the field and 12-of-14 from the free throw line, while sophomore Xavier Sneed (13) and juniors Dean Wade (12) and Kamau Stokes (11) all reached double-digits in scoring. Wade has now scored in double figures in all 13 Big 12 games.
Freshman forward Levi Stockard Ill put in valuable minutes for the Wildcats, scoring a season-high 8 points on 3-of-4 from the field, with 5 rebounds, while logging a career-high 23 minutes in the game.
Oklahoma State (15-11, 5-8 Big 12) was led by graduate transfer guard Kendall Smith, who scored a team-high 16 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the field, and 13-point efforts from senior guard Jeffrey Carroll and junior guard Cameron McGriff. The Cowboys were held to 41.5 percent (27-of-65) shooting, including just 23.5 percent (8-of-34) in the first half.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The two teams traded the lead in the early going before a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Xavier Sneed broke a 9-all tie and ignited a 7-0 run to give K-State a 16-9 with 10:16 remaining in the first half. During the stretch, the Wildcats held the Cowboys to just 3-of-15 shooting and forced 4 turnovers.
OSU responded with a 7-2 spurt to close the gap to a single possession at the 6:12 mark, but a quick layup by Sneed started a 12-0 run that gave K-State a 30-16 advantage with 2:30 remaining before halftime. The run was a result of opportune passing, as the team scored eight of their 10 points in the paint during the run.
The Wildcats would conclude the half on a 19-4 run that spanned over six minutes of play, as the squad connected on their last eight shots of the half to take a 37-20 lead at the break. The remarkable run at the end of the half boosted K-State’s shooting percentage to 55.6 percent (15-of-27), while holding Oklahoma State to just 23.5 percent (8-of-34) going into intermission.
Sneed led all scorers at the break with 8 points on 3-of-4 from the field, while grabbing 4 rebounds. Meanwhile, senior guard Jeffrey Carroll led OSU with 5 points and 5 rebounds.
Averaging 16.2 points per game prior to Wednesday’s contest, Wade got the second half started with a triple for the Wildcats to draw their largest lead of the game at 40-20 just 24 seconds into the second half. Meanwhile, Stockard III provided valuable minutes, as he reached a career-high in points on a jumper with 16:44 remaining. Stockard III went on to score 8 points on 3-of-4 field goals in 23 minutes in the game.
With a sizable lead early in the second half, the Wildcats continued to attack the basket. On a cut to the basket by redshirt freshman Cartier Diarra, Wade connected with the freshman on a lob, as the duo connected on an alley-oop. The Wildcats had success attacking the basket throughout the contest, flushing home four dunks in the game, while scoring 32 points in the paint.
In the end, the early K-State lead was too much for OSU to draw back, as the team held a double-digit lead for the entire second half. The Wildcats maintained the early pressure defensively, forcing 12 turnovers and holding the Cowboys to 41.5 percent (27-of-65) shooting in the game, en route to the 82-72 victory.
K-State shot 54.9 percent (28-of-51) from the field and 85.7 percent (18-of-21) from the free throw line in the game, as the Wildcats benefitted from four players in double-digits and a game-high 25 points from Brown.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Barry Brown Jr. – Brown scored a game-high 25 points on 6-of-12 from the field and 12-of-14 from the free throw line, as the team’s second-leading scorer posted his 13th career 20-point game, including his team-leading ninth this season. He has now scored 20 or more points in three of the last four meetings with the Cowboys.
STAT OF THE GAME
19-4 – K-State used a 19-4 run to cap off the first half, and the Wildcats never looked back. The team would go on to grab their largest margin of 20 points at the 19:36 mark of the second half, as the last single-digit lead was recorded with 3:36 left in the first half. Overall, K-State held the lead for 35:01, and only trailed for 2:56.