MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – No. 23/21 Kansas State broke open a 42-all tie with a 19-2 run midway through the second half, as the Wildcats extended their Big 12 road winning streak to 6 games with a 65-51 victory over West Virginia on Monday night at the WVU Coliseum.
The victory gave K-State 20 wins for the fifth time in head coach Bruce Weber’s seven seasons, including 10 in Big 12 play for the fourth time under Weber and in back-to-back seasons. The Wildcats (20-6, 10-3 Big 12) have now won 10 of its last 11 Big 12 contests, including 6 in a row on the road in league play for the first time since 2010.
Tied at 42-all with 11:55 to play, the Wildcats came out of a timeout to score 14 straight points over a nearly 4-minute span to take a commanding 56-42 lead with 7:36 remaining. Junior Xavier Sneed, who scored a season-high 19 points, was responsible for 8 of the 14 points in the stretch, including back-to-back 3-pointers. The run was extended to 19-2 after another Sneed triple gave the team a 61-44 advantage with 4:59 to play.
The lead never dipped below double figures the rest of the way, as K-State earned its first win at West Virginia (10-16, 2-11 Big 12) since 2013, snapping a 5-game losing streak, while sweeping the season series for the first time in 6 seasons. The 51 points tied for the fewest allowed the Mountaineers in the Big 12 era.
Senior Barry Brown, Jr., paced three Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-14 field goals and a perfect 6-of-6 effort from the free throw line to go with game-highs in assists (4) and steals (4) in 39 minutes. Sneed’s 19 points came on 6-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range, to go with a team-tying 7 rebounds and 3 steals, while senior Dean Wade added 10 points and 6 rebounds.
For the game, K-State connected on 44.4 percent (24-of-54) from the field, including 50 percent (13-of-26) in the second half, while holding West Virginia to 34.6 percent (18-of-52) shooting, including 32.1 percent (9-of-28) after halftime. The Wildcats have now held 14 opponents to 60 points or less, including 5 in Big 12 play.
Junior Lamont West led three Mountaineers in double figures with 16 points, while freshman Derek Culver added a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Senior Dean Wade gave K-State an early 7-3 lead with back-to-back buckets, but West Virginia responded with a 10-2 run, including 7 in a row, to take a 13-9 edge at the 13:08 mark.
After a 3-pointer by senior Kamau Stokes closed the deficit to 15-14, the Mountaineers rattled off 5 in a row to push the lead back to 20-14 with 9:58 before halftime. A 3-pointer by junior Xavier Sneed started a 9-2 run that gave the Wildcats a 23-22 lead at the third media timeout at the 6:24 mark.
West Virginia regained the lead from the free throw line over the next few minutes before Wade put K-State back in front with a second 3-pointer at 26-25 with 2:54 to play before halftime. After a pair of free throws by senior Barry Brown, Jr., pushed the lead to 28-25, a 3-pointer from redshirt freshman Brandon Knapper tied it up at 28-all at the 1:19 mark. Brown gave the Wildcats a 30-28 lead with a long jumper right before the buzzer.
K-State connected on 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the field, including 28.6 percent (4-of-14) from 3-point range, while West Virginia hit on 37.5 percent (9-of-24) of its field goals, including 27.3 percent (3-of-11) from long range. Brown led all scorers with 10 points at the break on 3-of-6 field goals and 4-of-4 free throws.
With game knotted at 30-all just moments into the second half, the Wildcats used a 7-3 spurt, including 5 straight points from Brown, to take a 37-33 lead at the first media timeout at the 15:03 mark. A Sneed 3-pointer extended the lead to 40-33 just moment later, but the Mountaineers took advantage of both Brown and Wade being out of the game to use a 7-0 run to knot the game at 42-all and force a timeout with 11:55 to play.
K-State responded out of the timeout with 5 quick points, including a 3-pointer from Sneed, to force head coach Bob Huggins to call a timeout at the 10:34 mark with the lead at 47-42. The run continued over the next few minutes, as the Wildcats took a 54-42 advantage into the media timeout with 7:50 remaining.
A pair of free throws by Sneed pushed the run to 14-0 before the Mountaineers finally scored to close the deficit to 56-44 with 6:34 to play. The Wildcats answered with a Stokes jumper to go with another 3-pointer from Sneed, as the run was extended to 19-2 with the lead at 61-44 with just 5 minutes to play.
The lead stayed in double figures the rest of the way, as K-State swept the series for the first time since 2013.
The Wildcats connected on 50 percent (13-of-26) of their field goals in the second half, including 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from 3-point range, while holding the Mountaineers to just 32.1 percent (9-of-28) shooting, including 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from long range. Sneed scored 16 of his 19 points after halftime on perfect 5-of-5 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range. He started the game 1-of-6 from the floor, including 1-of-4 from 3.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Barry Brown, Jr. – Barry Brown, Jr., registered his 22nd career 20-point game, including his seventh this season, as the senior posted a game-high 21 points on 7-of-14 field goals and a perfect 6-of-6 effort from the free throw line to go with game-highs in both assists (4) and steals (4) in 39 minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME
19-2 – K-State broke open a 42-all tie with a 19-2 run midway through the second half, giving the Wildcats a 17-point lead with just under 5 minutes to play. The Wildcats led by double digits the rest of the way.