Kansas State built a 20-point first half lead, then hung on against a furious second-half charge to defeat visiting George Mason 59-58 Saturday in Manhattan, Kan.
Kansas State (10-2) seemed to be cruising, leading by 21 points early in the second half. But a 20-5 run by Mason cut the lead to six points with 5:33 left. After Kamau Stokes hit back-to-back three-pointers, the Wildcats’ lead seemed secure. But a 15-4 charge gave the Patriots a chance in the final seconds.
Cartier Diarra missed a 3-pointer to give Mason a chance. Justin Kier missed a jumper and Barry Brown grabbed the rebound with two seconds left. But he was called for a double-dribble. But the inbounds pass went awry and the Wildcats held on.
A sterling statistical first half for the Wildcats ended up looking pretty average. They shot 45 percent from 3-point range in the first half, and they held Mason to just 26 percent from the field.
Kansas State was led by Stokes with 20 points. He went over 1,000 points in his career. He joined Brown and Dean Wade as the first Kansas State trio to reach 1,000 career points together.
Xavier Sneed had 13 points for the Wildcats, all in the first half, and Brown had 12.
George Mason (6-6) was led by Kier with 15 points. Javon Greene had 12 points and Jarred Reuter added 11. Brown held Patriots’ leading scorer Otis Livingston to just five points, nine under his season average.
The first half saw small runs by both teams and one big one by Kansas State. K-State used an 8-0 spurt to open a 16-7 lead early in the half. Mason came back with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two points. But the Wildcats then concluded the half with a 20-2 blitz to open a 36-16 lead at intermission.
Sneed was key in the first half, hitting three 3-pointers on his way to 13 points. Stokes added eight points for the Wildcats. Kier led the Patriots with seven points.
—Field Level Media