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.
IN THEIR WORDS
K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the injuries to Dean Wade and Kamau Stokes…
“I do not know. Dr. (Jamie) McAtee went back and looked at it. They do not think anything is broken, which is a positive thing. We will just have to wait for the MRI tomorrow morning to get a full idea what is there with Dean. With Kamau, he tweaked his ankle again at the far end. He said it hurt a little bit on the side where he did have the fracture. The doctor keeps telling him that thing has screws in there and is stronger than any bone he has in his body. Tomorrow we will have a better feel.”
On the game…
“I am very proud of our guys. We fought through some adversity. When Dean [Wade] went down you could see the body language change. They scored on back-to-back possessions and took the lead. To our guys’ credit we came back and made some plays. If you make shots it helps everybody. We put a lot of time in the last two weeks shooting the basketball. If you have open shots you need to rise up and shoot them. We had four guys in double figures and had 23 assists on 25 field goals so we moved the ball and did the right thing. Obviously, the negative is the turnovers. Georgia State reaches a lot and has active hands. If you do not make the pass right away they are coming. We did not do a great job, but we did a little better in the second half. We could have extended that lead in the first half if we did not turn the ball over. They are a good NCAA team. We did a good job on assignments. Barry [Brown], despite the foul trouble, got 21 points. Our bench did a nice job. Cartier [Diarra] stepped it up and did a lot of good things for us.”
On Makol Mawien…
“He might have had the worst stats but he played 28 minutes. He hedges ball screens and fights everything. He fought in the post. I know everyone wants to score, but Makol did a great job for us.”
On the team’s response when Kamau Stokes went down…
“We forgot all about being ranked and we were just trying to survive. It was just like last year. Instead of worrying about all the other stuff, we were worrying about fighting our butt off to win the game against a good team.”
Senior Guard Barry Brown, Jr.
On the pressure to score after Wade and Stokes were injured…
“I do not think it was too much pressure. I just wanted to stay focused and stay confident when Dean [Wade] and Kam [Stokes] went down. I was trying to talk to our guys, get them back going and we were able to close out and get a win.”
On refocusing after Wade and Stokes were injured…
“Last year we kind of dealt with injuries. We were just hoping and praying that it was not anything too serious, so they can come back next game. It is not difficult because it is kind of the same thing as last year and we have been through it.”
On if he is more proud of the offense or defense in today’s game…
“Defense, for sure. Mike [McGuirl] did a good job. I got two early fouls, so Mike came in and just did not let them get going to where in the second half when I came back in, he was already hot. I really credit Mike and Mak (Mawien) especially and all the bigs that were hitting the ball screens.”
Junior Forward Xavier Sneed
On the turnovers…
“Most of their runs were self-inflicted by us. We turned the ball over too much, especially myself, but if we did not give them those points off of turnovers, it probably would not have even been as close of a game as it was.”
On outside shooting success in today’s game…
“We have been talking about that a lot this week, just making that extra pass, instead of trying to take a contested one. Get it to the next open guy and keep swinging and make defenses rotate, so there’s always going to be that one person open. We made ourselves do that and got open shots and easy threes.”
On defense in the second half…
“We knew we had to get stops. Of course, at the end of the day, we pride ourselves on defense as always. Just getting the shutouts and doing the right thing on defense. All the little things on defense. Getting rebounds, finishing plays, we took a couple of charges today and all those things. All those things helped get the win.”
Georgia State Head Coach Ron Hunter
On struggling late in the game…
“I want to give them credit. The crowd really helped them and I thought it lifted their defense up. D’Marcus [Simonds] goes in and they get the travel. We thought that was kind of a big play. Give them a lot of credit. They made plays. I just told our kids in there that we do not have to win the Big 12. We took one of the top 15 teams in the country wire-to-wire. I am really proud of my kids, especially with what we have had to play and the number of road games we played. This is our last [non-conference] road game and we have only played three home games. It ended this way and I am proud of our kids. We gave ourselves a chance to win. That looked like an NCAA Tournament game. That is what I told our kids. Maybe it is a different outcome if you are playing on a neutral court. We took this like an NCAA Tournament game and the kids took it hard after the end of the game.”
On Nelson Phillips…
“He is a talented young man. He is getting more and more minutes and getting more comfortable. He can really, really play and he made some high major plays out there today. Again, we are not going to see that in the Sun Belt and we do not have to play the Big 12, thank goodness.”
On Jeff Thomas…
“He kind of got going. He had been struggling and has been in a shooting slump. He got tired at the end and missed some wide-open shots. Shots we usually make we just did not make. That was the tough part. I want to give them credit with their defense. That is what they do. When you go on the road, you have to make those shots.”
On D’Marcus Simonds…
“You have to give them credit because they really packed the lane in. They took his driving away and made him a jump shooter. One of the things it did is make it able for him to move the ball and it kept us in the game. Them focusing their attention on D’Marcus really helped us and kept us in the game because we were there to make jump shots. I thought he made a lot of great decisions. He did not force a lot of things and made those extra passes. Especially at the end of the half, when he passed the ball to Jeff [Thomas] and he hits a three to make it a one possession game at halftime.”
Senior Guard Devin Mitchell
On Kansas State…
“They guarded us well and that is kind of the staple of what they do. It was tough to get into a lot of our sets but I felt like we handled it well and just tried to do the best we could scoring the ball.”
On struggling late in the game…
“I just think we played a solid game up to about the last 7-8 minutes. Those guys just did a really good job of just doing what they do – playing defense and really getting up into us. We did not make smart plays down the stretch and it cost us.”
On coming back from a knee injury…
“The knee feels fine. I just was not very good today. I have to be better than that. I am a senior and a leader on this team. Personally, I have to play well but my knee feels fine. I am 100 percent.”
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- K-State is now 4-0 at home this season and has won 7 in a row at Bramlage Coliseum.
- K-State is now 99-6 in non-conference play at home dating back to 2006-07 with wins in 89 of its last 93 non-conference home games… The Wildcats have won 27 consecutive non-conference home games.
- K-State tied a season-high with 12 made 3-point field goals, match the 12 vs. Missouri (11/19/18).
- K-State dished out a season-high 23 assists on 25 made field goals… It is the most assists since posting 25 vs. SE Missouri State (12/16/17).
- Four players scored in double figures for the fourth time this season.
- K-State has now held 75 opponents to 60 points or less in the Weber era with the Wildcats boasting a 67-8 mark in those contests, including 6 of 9 opponents this year… Georgia State was held 59 points on 43.1 percent shooting (22-of-51), including 25.8 percent (8-of-31) from 3-point range.
- K-State allowed a season-high 25 points off turnovers, while turning it over a season-high 19 times.
- Senior Barry Brown, Jr., scored a game-high 21 points on 8-of-10 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, in 25 minutes… He has now led the team in scoring in 31 career games, including 3 times this season… He has now scored in double figures in 69 career games, including 6 this season… He has now posted 17 career 20-point games, including 2 this season.
- Senior Kamau Stokes scored 15 points on 5-of-9 field goals, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, to go with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in 29 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 55 career games, including 6 this season… He now has at least 3 made 3-pointers in 21 career games… The 5 rebounds and 4 steals both tied season-highs, while the 4 steals matched a career-high.
- Senior Dean Wade scored 12 points on 4-of-8 field goals to go with a team-high 9 rebounds… He has now scored in double figures in 70 career games, including 8 this season… His 70 career double-digit scoring games tie for the 10th-most in school history with Bob Boozer (1956-59) and Jamar Samuels (2008-12).
- Junior Xavier Sneed scored 14 points on 6-of-11 field goals, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with a season-high 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal in 30 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 42 career games, including 7 this season.
- Sophomore Mike McGuirl dished out a career-best 5 assists and matched his career-best with 2 steals.
K-State continues its homestand on Wednesday, Dec. 19, as the Wildcats host Conference USA foe Southern Miss (7-2) at 7 p.m., CT, at Bramlage Coliseum. Tickets start at just $5 for advanced bench and general admission with $3 tickets available for groups of 12 or more fans. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Kansas City (state of Kansas and Kansas City area) as well as on the FOX Sports app and ESPN3 (outside of Kansas).
Source: Kansas State Sports