K-State survived a late-surge by the Iowa State Cyclones to pull out a 58-57 win in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon.
Senior forward, and preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, Dean Wade made his first start since being sidelined by an injury against Georgia St. on Dec. 15. He recorded only two points, but grabbed nine rebounds in 22 minutes on the court.
K-State, who has struggled early in games lately, got the first points of the game on a three-pointer from senior guard Kamau Stokes. They built their lead up to five points before surrendering nine points in a row to the Cyclones.
Stokes had 12 points for the Wildcats, additionally contributing to four assists.
After the Cyclone run, K-State went back to work rebuilding its lead. The lead ballooned to 10 at one point. A late three-pointer from sophomore guard Cartier Diarra sent K-State to the locker room with a nine point lead at 35-26.
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Foul trouble, which has plagued K-State often in Big 12 play, was not a problem for the Wildcats in the first half. Not a single starter had a foul at halftime.
The offense fell apart in the second half and Iowa State battled back to tie the game twice midway through the second half before taking a seven-point lead with five minutes to play with a 9-0 run.
Senior guard Barry Brown came up big late in the game for the Wildcats. He hit a pair of jump shots to make it a two-point game with three minutes left to play.
On the next offensive possession, K-State was back down five when Brown’s jump shot went out of bounds on the rebound. The ball was originally awarded to Iowa State, but after a meeting by the officials, K-State had the ball.
Off the inbounds pass, Wade drove to the basket and laid it in using the rim to prevent the shot from being blocked. K-State trailed by three with just two minutes to play.
With just thirty seconds left in the ball game, Brown was fouled on a layup attempt. He made both free throws to cut the Cyclone lead to one.
The Wildcats fouled Cyclone sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton. He went to the free throw line to shoot one-and-one with fifteen seconds to play and a chance to take a three-point lead. He missed the front end and Wade grabbed the rebound.
Wade found Brown on an outlet pass. The other four Wildcats cleared the lane to set up Brown with an isolated drive to the basket to win.
Brown drove under the basket and bounced the ball off the backboard, narrowly avoiding a second defender, and into the basket to take the penultimate lead with four seconds to play.
Iowa State missed a desperation heave from midcourt and Stokes knocked the rebound away from a Cyclone for good measure. Iowa State did not score in the last 2:42.
Brown led K-State with 23 points, playing the most of any Wildcats at 36 minutes.
K-State is now 12-4 on the year and 2-2 in Big 12 play, this game marking their second-straight win in conference games of the season.
The Wildcats’ will return to action in Norman, Oklahoma, against the Sooners on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2.