Kansas St. uses late 1st-half run to down Baylor 77-67
MANHATTAN, Kansas (AP) Kansas State’s Dean Wade has been a standout player for the Wildcats for most of the season and has a good chance to be the first Wildcat to be named to the All-Big 12 First Team since 2013.
In the regular season finale against Baylor, Wade made a strong case and then some.
Wade scored 25 points and Barry Brown scored 18 and Kansas State beat Baylor 77-67 Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday.
Baylor head coach Scott Drew had nothing but praise for the K-State junior.
”He (Wade) gets to the rim, knocks down 3s and knocks down jumpers. It is hard to guard him. His assist to turnover ratio in the last five games is I think 23-4,” Drew said.
For Wade, even with the spotlight on him and the team as they fight for an NCAA bid, he just wanted to break the streak of bad outings the team had encountered recently.
”We came out and just wanted to be aggressive. We have not played the greatest basketball in the past couple of games. We just wanted to come out and get back to the way we’ve been playing earlier in the Big 12 schedule,” Wade said, adding, ”We just came out with a ton of energy, firing on offense and defense, so it was an all-around good game for us.”
After a back-and-forth first half, Kansas State (21-10, 10-8) used a 13-2 run over the final 5:42 of the first half for a 35-25 halftime lead. The run was capped by Wade’s fade-away basket that danced around the rim and went in as the buzzer sounded. Wade finished on 9-of-14 shooting, was 6 of 7 from the foul line and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Wildcats maintained control in the second half and extended their lead to 16 midway through the second half. Baylor (18-13, 8-10) went on a 13-2 run as Nuni Omot buried three 3-pointers and threw down a dunk and Baylor drew within 62-57 with 6:27 left but the Bears couldn’t get closer.
”They shot 52 percent against us,” Drew said.
”I thought we competed. We gave ourselves a chance to get it to five but coach Weber always does a really good job managing the game and putting them in good positions to be successful,” he said.
Omot tied a career-high 30 points on 8-of-11 shooting – including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc – and made 8 of 9 foul shots.
Baylor: The Bears finished below .500 in the conference for the first time in seven seasons.
Kansas State: The Wildcats’ 21 wins equals matching their win total from last year.
Baylor: The Bears enter the Big 12 Conference Tournament as the No. 6 seed and will play third-seeded West Virginia on Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, site of the 2018 tournament.
Kansas State: The Wildcats are the conference’s fourth-seeded team and face No. 5-seed TCU, also on Thursday.