Kansas State overcame its largest deficit ever when senior guard Barry Brown, Jr., laid in the go-ahead bucket with 29 seconds remaining to cap a 50-point second half by the Wildcats in a 71-69 defeat of West Virginia in front of 9,590 roaring fans at Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday.
K-State (10-4, 1-2 Big 12) trailed by as many as 21 a little more than a minute into the second half before spouting off a 17-0 run to bring the margin to 42-38 with 13:07 left in the game. A 4-point play by juniorXavier Sneed gave the Wildcats their first lead with 2:30 remaining before the Mountaineers regained the advantage, 69-68, on a Lamont West free throw with 1:33 to play. In the final minute of play, Brown put the Wildcats ahead with a gutsy layup at 70-69 with 29 seconds remaining.
West Virginia (8-7, 0-3 Big 12) missed a shot in the paint with 5 seconds left and Sneed came down with the rebound and was sent to the line, where he hit one free throw. The Mountaineers were unable to get a final shot up before the buzzer sounded.
The victory snapped K-State’s 4-game losing streak to West Virginia, while giving the Wildcats their first Big 12 victory of the season. It was just the second victory in the series against the Mountaineers since 2014 and the first since a 79-75 win at home on Jan. 21, 2017.
Brown led K-State behind a season-high 29 points on 9-of-14 from the field, paired with 6 steals to tie a career-high. It was his 18th career 20-point game, including his third this season, and has highest point total since scoring 34 points at Baylor on Jan. 22, 2018. In the process, he became the ninth Wildcat to eclipse 1,500 career points.
Brown was joined in double figures by a career night from sophomore Mike McGuirl, who scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, while senior Kamau Stokes and Sneed added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
K-State scored 25 points off 17 West Virginia turnovers, marking the sixth time scoring 20 or more points off of turnovers this season. In contrast, the Wildcats posted a season-low 6 turnovers.
Junior Lamont West led the way for the Mountaineers with 21 points off the bench on 6-of-13 shooting. The West Virginia bench played an influential role on Wednesday, scoring 44 points, which tied for the fifth-most allowed in a game in K-State history.