Junior guard Barry Brown scored 25 points Wednesday to lead a balanced attack that sizzled as Kansas State stopped Oklahoma State 82-72 in Stillwater, Okla.
The Wildcats, who lost three of their previous four games, led by as many as 20 and were never threatened following a scorching finish to the first half.
The road win was the fourth in Big 12 play for Kansas State, which improved to 18-8 overall and 7-6 in the conference. The Wildcats shot 54.9 percent after shooting just 36.8 percent and averaging 55.4 points in their previous five games.
Oklahoma State (15-11, 5-8) fell for the fifth time in seven games, even though the two victories during that stretch were against ranked opponents, Kansas and West Virginia, on the road. The Cowboys shot just 41.5 percent and were outscored 24-15 off the bench.
Brown, who averaged just 7.4 points in the previous five games, had a layup with 10:22 to go to put Kansas State up 59-42. Junior guard Kamau Stokes canned a 3-pointer with 9:01 remaining to complete a 7-for-9 outburst for the Wildcats and match their largest lead, 65-45. Their crisp offensive execution resulted in just eight turnovers, while they went 18-of-21 from the free throw line.
Sophomore forward Xavier Sneed added 13 points and six rebounds, while junior forward Dean Wade chipped in 12 points for the Wildcats, who came in as a Big 12 team on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament after squeaking in as a First Four participant last season.
Senior guard Kendall Smith led Oklahoma State with 16 points. Sophomore forward Cameron McGriff, who netted a career-high 20 points in two of the Cowboys’ previous three games, added 13. Senior guard Jeffrey Carroll also scored 13 and added a team-high nine boards.
Kansas State made its last eight shots of the first half when 55.6 percent shooting contributed to a 37-20 halftime bulge. Sneed led the balanced Wildcats with eight first-half points. Sneed contributed three baskets during a 19-4 surge to close the half.
Oklahoma State countered by shooting just 23.5 percent, going 8-of-34. Carroll had five points and five rebounds, both team-highs. The Cowboys had trimmed an early seven-point lead for the Wildcats to 18-16 on a bucket by Smith with 6:12 remaining.
After that, Oklahoma State scored on two of its last nine possessions in spite of 10-0 rebounding advantage on the offensive glass.
—Field Level Media