Brown lifts KSU to upset at Iowa State

The Wichita Eagle (Sunday) - - Sports - BY KELLIS ROBINETT

Barry Brown hit a game-win­ning layup to lift the Kansas State bas­ket­ball team past Iowa State 58-57 on Satur­day at Hilton Coli­seum.

The se­nior guard flexed his mus­cles at mid­court and then hugged team­mates to cel­e­brate.

He de­served to soak up the mo­ment. This was a big upset vic­tory for the Wild­cats (12-4, 2-2 Big 12), who not long ago were off to an un­der­whelm­ing 0-2 start in con­fer­ence play. But their trou­bles may be be­hind them af­ter a win like this. Iowa State (12-4, 2-2) was pre­vi­ously un­beaten at home and oblit­er­ated league-fa­vorite Kansas here last week.

Brown, for the sec­ond game in a row, put the Wild­cats on his back when they needed big plays in the clos­ing min­utes.

“I am play­ing with good con­fi­dence man, my­self and my team­mates,” Brown said. “What we have done in the gym, I feel like ev­ery­one feels like if we miss a shot, we are go­ing to make the next one. We all have that supreme con­fi­dence that we need to win bas­ket­ball games.”

K-State play­ers needed an abun­dance of con­fi­dence when Iowa State pulled ahead 57-52 with less than three min­utes re­main­ing.

The Cy­clones ap­peared on their way to vic­tory af­ter storm­ing back from an 11-point deficit. K-State had lost its scor­ing mojo and was strug­gling to an­swer the Cy­clones’ run. Then Brown took the game over by driv­ing to the bas­ket and mak­ing good things hap­pen at the rim.

“His con­fi­dence and ag­gres­sion is bar none,” K-State for­ward Dean Wade said. “No one can re­ally stop him. I don’t think any­one in the coun­try can re­ally stay in front of him. You add all the other weapons that we have in Xavier (Sneed), Cartier (Diar-

ra), Makol (Maw­ien) and it’s hard for de­fenses to re­ally key in on one per­son on our team, and that lets Barry be ag­gres­sive and at­tack the whole game. I think to­day is a per­fect ex­am­ple of that.”

Brown made a pair of free throws with 16 sec­onds re­main­ing to pull K-State within 57-56 fol­low­ing a Wade layup.

Then Brown hit the gamewin­ning layup with 4 sec­onds left on the clock. He fin­ished with 23 points. It was a heck of an en­core to his 29-point ef­fort against West Vir­ginia on Wed­nes­day, which also fea­tured a go-ahead layup in the fi­nal minute.

“Ob­vi­ously, Barry made some big, big plays,” KS­tate coach Bruce We­ber said. “Not just the win­ning bucket, but the play right be­fore that.”

K-State de­pended on Brown for the bulk of its of­fense in the sec­ond half. He scored 16 of the team’s fi­nal 18 points.

The re­sult made it a happy re­turn for Wade, a se­nior for­ward who saw his first ac­tion in weeks af­ter miss­ing the past six games be­cause of a torn ten­don in his right foot. The Big 12 Pre­sea­son Player of the Year looked rusty while scor­ing two points and grab­bing nine re­bounds, but he helped the Wild­cats spread the floor and forced the Cy­clones to re­spect his shoot­ing abil­ity.

Brown fin­ished with a game-high 23 points, while Ka­mau Stokes added 12. But they both ben­e­fited from Wade be­ing on the floor.

Nick Weiler-Babb led Iowa State with 11 points. No other ISU player reached dou­ble fig­ures. K-State made life mis­er­able for the Cy­clones all game by play­ing pres­sure de­fense.

This was, over­all, some of the most com­plete bas­ket­ball K-State has played all sea­son. The Wild­cats’ of­fense aban­doned them at times in the sec­ond half, which was the main rea­son why the Cy­clones were able to surge ahead in the sec­ond half, but they did enough to win late.

That seemed fit­ting, con­sid­er­ing how well K-State be­gan the game. The first half was a thing of beauty for the Wild­cats.

Ka­mau Stokes led the way by scor­ing 12 points be­fore half­time. The se­nior guard was ag­gres­sive when­ever he pos­sessed the ball and made three three-point­ers. But he got lots of sup­port.

Cartier Diarra busted out of his re­cent slump by scor­ing eight points in the first half. He was much more ac­tive than he has been in re­cent games, div­ing for loose balls, get­ting af­ter it on de­fense and grab­bing re­bounds. Six dif­fer­ent K-State play­ers scored in the first half.

Sur­pris­ingly, none of them were Wade. He showed his rust by pass­ing up open shots and tak­ing bad an­gles when he did de­cide to drive to­ward the rim.

K-State took an 11-6 lead, and that ad­van­tage would have been more if not for Shaun Neal-Wil­liams and Stokes miss­ing open layups. The Wild­cats held Iowa State to just 42 per­cent shoot­ing and nine three-point­ers. It en­tered the day av­er­ag­ing 81.3 points.

“Any road win in the

Big 12 is huge, es­pe­cially against these guys,” Wade said. “They are play­ing great now. De­fen­sively, we have got to be proud of what we did to­day. They are one of the best scor­ing teams in the Big 12 and we held them to 57.”

K-State led 35-26 at half­time, a score that surely sur­prised folks across the con­fer­ence. Or­der seemed to be re­stored when Iowa State pulled ahead by seven in the sec­ond half, but KS­tate wouldn’t be de­nied.

Not with Brown mak­ing big plays in clutch mo­ments. Again.

“I just put on the board: ‘Be the team of the week in the Big 12,’” We­ber said. “That meant we had to win. If that hap­pened, ob­vi­ously, Barry has to be the player of the week. He had two game win­ners.”

Kellis Robinett: @Kel­lisRobi­nett

JUSTIN HAY­WORTH AP

Barry Brown Jr. draws con­tact from Iowa State guard Lin­dell Wig­gin­ton.

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