K-State rallies to upset No. 22 Baylor

Courtesy: Kansas State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State used a 17-2 run in the second half to take down No. 22/23 Baylor, 63-61, for its fourth-straight win on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 12,528 at Bramlage Coliseum.

The victory was the 11th in the last 14 home games against Top 25 opponents, including the sixth in a row.

Down by as much as 14 in the first half, K-State (11-7, 4-1 Big 12) captured its first lead, 53-51, with 6:24 left in the game after a pair of Justin Edwards’ free throws. The Wildcats shot 59.1 percent (13-of-22) after halftime, including 11-of-16 from the free throw line, to secure the victory down the stretch.

The 14-point deficit overcome for victory tied for the 12th-largest in school history and the largest since rallying from a 15-point deficit against Charleston Southern on Nov. 11, 2011.

K-State, which held Baylor (13-4, 2-3 Big 12) to just 30.0 percent (9-of-30) shooting after the break, the Bears’ third-lowest percentage in a half this season.

The Basics
Final Score: Kansas State 63, 22/23 Baylor 61
Records: Kansas State (11-7, 4-1 Big 12); 22/23 Baylor (13-4, 2-3 Big 12)
Attendance: 12,528 (paid)
Next Game: Tuesday, Jan. 20 \\ at No. 11/13 Iowa State (12-2, 2-1 Big 12) \\ 6 p.m. CT \\ ESPN2

The Short Story
• K-State’s defensive pressure held Baylor to 61 points, the 11th straight game the team has held an opponent to 65 points or less. The Wildcats forced the Bears into their second-highest turnover total (15) and held them to their second-lowest totals for offensive rebounds (13) and points in the paint (20).
• Down 49-37 with 11:27 left to play, K-State went on a 17-2 run behind 8 points from Nino Williams to eventually tie the game then led for the first time at the 6:24 mark.
• Baylor led for 31:44 of the game and increased its advantage to as many as 14 points with 9:50 left in the first half. The Bears went into halftime, up 33-24, but the Wildcats would outscore them 39-28 in the second half to earn their fourth-straight conference victory.
• Nino Williams led K-State in scoring with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including 4-of-4 from the free throw stripe, as well as in rebounds (7). Williams’ double-digit effort was the fifth time he has led the team in scoring, but his first time in double figures since Texas Southern (11) on Dec. 28, 2013.
• Marcus Foster was the only other Wildcat in double figures, scoring 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. He has now scored in double figures in 41 of 51 career games.
• 41 of Baylor’s 61 points came from Kenny Chery (21) and Taurean Prince (20), who connected on 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the field. The rest of the team shot just 22.2 percent (6-of-27).

How It Happened | First Half
• Baylor sprang out to an early 13-2 lead in the opening seven minutes, holding K-State without a field goal for a span of 6:31 of the first half. It was not until the 12:50 mark that Thomas Gipson scored the Wildcats’ second field goal.
• K-State did not reach a double-digit point total until 9:33 remained in the first half after a Gipson jumper, trailing the Bears, 22-10.
• The Wildcats used a 12-0 run propelled by two Foster 3-pointers at the 8:50 mark to the 1:31 mark to narrow the margin to 24-22 before a Taurean Prince trey ended Baylor’s 7:19 scoring drought.
• Baylor extended its lead to 33-24 into the half after consecutive 3-pointers from Chery, bringing his halftime scoring total to 16 points.
• Baylor connected on 48 percent (12-of-25) in the first half, including 50 percent (6-of-12) from 3-point range, while K-State shot 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range.
• Foster (10) and Gipson (8) combined to score 18 of K-State’ 24 first-half points.

How It Happened | Second Half
• The teams traded baskets coming out of the break with the Wildcats cutting the deficit to 38-32 at the first media timeout at the 15:59 mark.
• Foster’s fourth foul with 11:27 remaining provided for an old-fashioned 3-point play for Rico Gathers and a Baylor advantage of 49-37.
• The Bears would go up 51-42 at the 9:33 mark before the Wildcats answered with 12 straight points to take their first lead with 6:24 to play. The 17-2 run was thanks in large part to Williams’ eight points.
• Nigel Johnson’s 3-pointer with 3:55 to play in the second half gave the Wildcats a 59-56 advantage that they would not relinquish.
• A Taurean Prince lay-up cut it to 59-58, but a Williams’ jumper with 2:20 remaining again put K-State up 3 at 61-58. The Wildcats would stiffen up their defense to hold the Bears scoreless on their next three offensive possessions.
• The Wildcats hit 2-of-4 free throws in the last 11 seconds.
• K-State was able to rebounded from a poor first half of shooting, shooting 59.1 percent (13-of-22) after the break, while holding Baylor to just 30 percent (9-of-30). The Bears hit only two 3-pointers in the second half and Chery was limited to just five points (2-of-7).

Beyond the Boxscore
• K-State extends its winning streak to 4 games and is 4-1 in Big 12 play for the third consecutive season.
• K-State has won 11 out of its last 14 home games vs. Top 25 opponents, including 6 in a row, dating back to 2010… Overall, the Wildcats are 29-47 all-time vs. Top 25 foes at Bramlage Coliseum, including 14-7 since 2008… The last loss came to No. 3 Kansas (59-55) on Jan. 22, 2013.
• K-State has now held 11 straight opponents to 65 points or less, which is the longest such streak in school history since the Wildcats did it in 17 straight games from Nov. 27, 1982 to Jan. 29, 1983.
• K-State improved to 17-14 all-time against Baylor, including 15-13 in the Big 12 era… The Wildcats now lead 13-12 during the regular season, including 7-6 at Bramlage Coliseum.
• K-State overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to Baylor, which ties for the 12th-largest deficit overcome for victory in school history and the largest since coming from 15 down vs. Charleston Southern (11/11/2011)… It is the largest in a Big 12 game since coming from 14 down at Iowa State (2/6/1999).
• The 9-point halftime deficit overcome for victory ties for the 11th-largest in school history and the largest since coming from 9 down vs. New Mexico (11/23/2005)… It is the largest halftime comeback in a Big 12 game since coming for 9 down at Iowa State (2/6/1999).

• “We beat a good top-ranked team; it’s a credit to our guys. We hung in there. We did not do very well the first eight to 10 minutes, too many turnovers. I think we overthought the zone, bad ball movement. We were down by nine and made a run to cut it to two. They went on a 9-2 run to build a nice lead at half. I told the guys that have to keep fighting and hope for things to happen. We started making plays and made some stops, the crowd got into it. Nino [Williams] hit some big shots and obviously Nigel’s [Johnson] big three was huge and the he got that rebound and made a free throw. Wesley [Iwundu] and Justin [Edwards] started attacking and got into the paint and made some nice plays. That with the defense made the difference.” said head coach Bruce Weber.

Up Next
• K-State returns to action on Tuesday, as the Wildcats travel north to play No. 11/13 Iowa State (12-2, 2-1 Big 12) at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2. The squad will begin a two-game home stand on Saturday, Jan. 24 when they host No. 24/24 Oklahoma State (12-4, 2-2 Big 12) at 11 a.m. CT.

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