Barry Brown Jr. scored eight straight points midway through the second half for No. 12 Kansas State in a tight, 64-56 win over Denver on Monday at Manhattan, Kan.
Brown finished with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-8 on 3-point attempts, for the Wildcats (2-0).
He was joined in double figures by Dean Wade, who tallied 12 points to go with his 16 rebounds, the most in five years for Kansas State. Xavier Sneed also had 12 points for the Wildcats, who shot just 38.3 percent from the field, including 22.2 percent from 3-point range.
Joe Rosga led Denver (1-1) with 18 points. Ronnie Harrell Jr. added 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Ade Murkey also had 14 for the Pioneers.
K-State, picked second in the Big 12 Conference in the preseason, had difficulty pulling away from Denver, picked third in the Summit League. Part of the difficulty was poor free-throw shooting by the Wildcats. They were just 12-of-27 from the charity stripe in the game, finishing below 50 percent for the second straight game.
Brown’s key run snapped a 38-38 tie. He sunk a 3-pointer, followed with a layup then hit another three to give the Wildcats a lead they wouldn’t relinquish with 10:13 left in the contest.
K-State used a 9-2 run midway through the first half to turn a small deficit into a six-point lead. They eventually extended the lead to 31-21 before Denver scored the final seven points of the half to cut the halftime deficit to 31-28.
Sneed, who missed the season-opening win over Kennesaw State with an injured ankle, scored seven of K-State’s first nine points. He finished the half with nine points. Brown led the Wildcats with 10.
Rosga led the Pioneers with 12 points in the first half. Harrell chipped in 10.
The team stats were not attractive for either squad. K-State shot just 36 percent from the field, including 2-of-13 from long range. Denver shot just 38 percent. Both teams missed nine of their first 12 shots in the first half.
—Field Level Media