Victory over Baylor keeps K-State on top of Big 12

Senior forward Dean Wade slams down a dunk during K-State's basketball game against Baylor in Bramlage Coliseum on March 2, 2019. The Wildcats took the Bears 66-60. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The No. 16 Kansas State men’s basketball team capped off Fake Patty’s Day with a 66-60 win over the Baylor Bears to remain in first place in the Big 12 conference.

Senior guard Dean Wade was tremendous, leading all scorers with 20 points along with crucial baskets to help the Wildcats defeat the Bears. This was Wade’s fourth 20+ point game this season.

“We were moving the ball well,” Wade said. “I was being aggressive. My teammates did a great job of driving gaps and allowing me to find the open spot.”

The Bears got out to an early 7-4 lead before the Wildcats called a timeout. K-State came out of the timeout with fire as they went on a big run to take a 21-7 lead.

K-State’s defense was suffocating the Bears, forcing Baylor to commit 10 turnovers in the first half.

Baylor finally stopped the Wildcats’ big run with a layup by redshirt sophomore guard Mario Kegler at 9:23 left in the first half, but junior forward Xavier Sneed responded with a three-pointer.

Then the Bears started to claw themselves back into the game with back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead down to single digits, 24-15.

The Bears continued to get closer to the Wildcats as the first half went on. The Wildcats’ lead got trimmed to 29-25 near the 2:00 minute mark, then Baylor’s freshman guard Jared Butler cut the lead down to two with a three-pointer on the final possession of the first half. The Bears outscored the Wildcats 21-8 after the 16-0 run.

The Wildcats led the game by only two points going into halftime.

Baylor came out and continued their comeback and flipped the score on a jumper by senior guard King McClure to 37-36 in their favor with 15:13 remaining in the game.

Wade responded in the next minute with a jump shot to give the Wildcats the lead back.

The Bears tied the game back up at the 13:54 mark 39-39, but that was all of the Bears’ comeback attempt as the Wildcats held the lead for the remainder of the game.

With 12:40 remaining in the game with a 40-41 lead, Wade found an open crease in the Bears’ defense while near the three-point line near K-State’s bench. He accelerated through the crease, and slammed the ball into the net with authority to extend the Wildcats’ lead to three points, getting the crowd and the Wildcats’ bench on their feet, and a high reel of energy was reeled toward the Wildcats in Bramlage Coliseum.

Sneed followed Wade’s dunk with a three-pointer, and the Wildcats went on a run to extend the lead back to double digits 51-41.

The Bears did make one last comeback attempt. They trimmed the lead to 59-55 with 2:56 remaining in the game, but the Wildcats scored eight unanswered points to give themselves a comfortable lead to hold on and win the game.

The Wildcats will now head to Fort Worth, Texas, to play TCU for another big game to stay in first place in the Big 12 conference standings on Monday night.