MANHATTAN, Kan. – No. 25/24 Kansas State outscored Georgia State, 21-6, in the last nine minutes to post a 71-59 victory and snap a 2-game losing streak on Saturday night in front of 9,563 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
With the win, K-State (7-2) has now won 27 consecutive non-conference games at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats have won seven in a row at home, including all four to start the season.
Down 53-50 to the preseason Sun Belt Conference favorite Panthers with just under 10 minutes to play, the Wildcats erupted for 12 consecutive points, including 8 from senior Barry Brown, Jr., to start a 21-6 run that turned a 3-point deficit into a 14-point lead (71-57) with 1:22 remaining.
Brown and junior Xavier Sneed combined for 18 of the team’s final 21 points.
Brown finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-10 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. He led four Wildcats in double figures, along with senior Kamau Stokes (15), Sneed (14) and senior Dean Wade (12).
Five different players had at least 3 assists, as K-State totaled a season-high 23 assists on 25 made field goals.
The Wildcats played most of the second half without Wade and Stokes, who both left the game in the second half with injuries. Wade, who finished with a near double-double of 12 points and a game-high 9 rebounds to go with 3 assists and 2 steals, played just 6 minutes in the second half, while Stokes played 10 minutes after halftime and posted 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-6 long range, to go with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.
Georgia State (7-4) was led by senior Jeff Thomas’ 13 points, while freshman Nelson Phillips and junior D’Marcus Simonds added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Returning home to Bramlage Coliseum for the first time in nearly a month, the Wildcats jumped out to an 8-2 lead, all behind Brown who scored eight in a row, after the Panthers scored the opening basket.
In a game that would be determined by runs, GSU used a 9-1 run to take its first lead, at 11-9, on a jumper by Devin Mitchell with 13:37 to play in the first half.
The next few minutes featured a back-and-forth affair, that involved two lead changes, including a rare 4-point play by Stokes that gave K-State a 15-13 lead at 11:07 mark.
The play sparked a 14-2 surge that pushed the lead to 25-15 with 8:45 before halftime.
The Panthers slowly chipped away at the deficit, closing to within 31-29 on a pair of free throws by Damon Wilson with 2:38 remaining. A Stokes 3-pointer and a free throw by Wade gave the Wildcats a 35-29 advantage with 36 seconds before a Jeff Thomas 3-pointer closed the gap at halftime to 35-32.
The first half was headlined by solid play from Brown, who led the team with 8 points on 3-of-3 from the field in just 6 minutes of play, due to early foul trouble. As a unit, the Wildcats shot an even 48 percent (12-of-25) from the field in the half, while the Panthers connected on 44 percent (11-of-25) from the floor.
After the break, GSU scored the first five points of the half to re-take the lead, 37-35, just 52 seconds into the second half. K-State responded with a 13-2 run to take a 48-39 advantage at the 15:28 mark.
Despite the strong streak from the Wildcats, the Panthers put together an even bigger run, spouting off a 14-2 run on 6-of-6 shooting from the field to take over the lead 53-50 with 9:51 left in the half.
Over the next six minutes, K-State would put together a 15-3 run to open a 9-point lead at 65-56 with 3:30 left. The lead would balloon to as many as 14 points down the stretch en route to the 71-59 victory.
The Wildcats shot 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the field, including 46.4 percent (13-of-28) in the second half, and tied a season-high with 12 made 3-point field goals. The Panthers connected on 43.1 percent (22-of-51), including 42.3 percent (11-of-26) after halftime.
The two teams combined for 36 turnovers and 40 points off those miscues.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Barry Brown, Jr., – Brown scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, connecting on 8-of-10 field goals, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He scored 11 of the Wildcats’ last 21 points. He was also the primary defender on Georgia State’s D’Marcus Simonds, who was held to 10 points on 4-of-11 field goals. Simonds entered the game averaging 22.0 points per game.
STAT OF THE GAME
21-6 – Down 53-50 with 9:51 remaining, K-State outscored Georgia State, 21-6, which included 11 points from Barry Brown, Jr. The run in the second half included a trio of 3-pointers from Brown, who went on to lead the Wildcats with a game-high 21 points.