Kansas State overcame a 21-point second-half deficit to defeat visiting West Virginia 71-69 for its first conference win Wednesday night in Manhattan, Kan. West Virginia is still winless in conference play.
It was the largest come-from-behind win in school history. The previous largest comeback to win in school was 17 points, which happened twice.
The Mountaineers (8-7, 0-3 Big 12) built a huge first-half lead and then extended it to 42-21 with 18:49 left in the game.
Then the Wildcats (11-4, 1-2 Big 12) started their charge. Kansas State hit eight straight shots to take their first lead of the game at 68-66 on Xavier Sneed’s four-point play with 2:30 to go.
West Virginia retook the lead at 69-68 with 1:33 left, but Barry Brown Jr. put the Wildcats back on top with a lay-up with 28.9 seconds left.
Derek Culver missed a short jumper in the lane with five 10 seconds left and Sneed grabbed the rebound. He hit the first of two free throws, but West Virginia’s desperation 3-point attempt caromed off the rim.
Kansas State was led by Brown with a season-high 29 points and a career-high six steals. Mike McGuirl also hit a career high with 18 points. Joining them in double-figures were Kamau Stokes with 12 points and Sneed with 10.
Lamont West led West Virginia with 21 points. Culver had 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Jermaine Haley added 13 points.
The Wildcats’ 17-0 run early in the second half erased most of the 21-point deficit. West Virginia got the lead back up to double-digits at 58-48.
Kansas State scored 50 points in the second half, after scoring just 21 in the first. The Wildcats were 7-of-11 from three-point range in the second half.
It was the second straight game that Kansas State had fallen behind by a big margin early. Against Texas Tech on the road last Saturday, the Wildcats were behind 14-0 before they scored their first point.
Against the Mountaineers, they missed 10 of their first 11 shots and fell behind 20-3 about midway through the first half. It wasn’t until Austin Trice followed a miss with a dunk that anyone other than Brown scored for the Wildcats, who still trailed 20-7.
The Mountaineers led 36-21 at halftime, in spite of a late spurt by the Wildcats. West led WVU with 11 points. Haley and Culver had eight points each. Brown led the Wildcats with nine points at the break.
Once again, the Wildcats were cold from the field, shooting just 7-of-24, including 2-of-12 from 3-point range.
—Field Level Media