No. 23 Kansas State beats West Virginia to keep Big 12 lead
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Kansas State went on the road to quickly get back on track.
Barry Brown scored 21 points and the No. 23 Wildcats beat West Virginia 65-51 on Monday night to remain atop the Big 12 standings.
A 14-0 run midway through the second half, led by a couple of 3-pointers by Xavier Sneed, gave the Wildcats (20-6, 10-3) their sixth straight conference road win.
“We’ve won these road games and you do that with experience,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. “You got guys who’ve been through it and stay poised. They stay focused and stay disciplined on defense.”
Down seven with just under 13 minutes to play, Lamont West led the Mountaineers (10-16, 2-10) to a quick 7-0 run to tie it up at 42 with under 12 to play.
K-State responded with the 14-0 run. WVU could not recover.
“We were getting a lot of shutouts, trying to hold them to one shot, get the rebound and push it,” Brown said.
Sneed added 19 points for Kansas State, including five 3-pointers. Dean Wade, who was questionable going into the game, scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Lamont West led West Virginia with 16 points. Derek Culver picked up his sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon Knapper scored 10 points.
West Virginia finished 18 of 52 from the field.
“You’re not going to win shooting 34 percent,” coach Bob Huggins said.
The Mountaineers outrebounded the Wildcats 35-31.
Kansas State: The Wildcats remain on top of the Big 12 by bouncing back after their 78-64 loss to then-No. 23 Iowa State on Saturday. No. 12 Kansas and No. 14 Texas Tech remain one game back at 9-4. The Jayhawks and Red Raiders play each other on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.
West Virginia: Considering the recent depletion of their roster, the Mountaineers put up a pretty good fight against the stout Wildcats, not caving until midway through the second half. With Oklahoma State’s win over TCU on Monday, WVU sits alone at the bottom of the Big 12.
Brown drew comparisons to former WVU guard Jevon Carter, who was in attendance.
“He’s terrific,” Huggins said. “I compare him to Jevon Carter. What JC did here and his maturation process. He’s a terrific defender and he’s obviously become a very good offensive player.”
The win marks K-State’s only one in Morgantown during Brown’s college career, three of them matching up with Carter.
“Jevon Carter, I know he left a legacy here,” Brown said. “His jersey could probably be in the rafters here in West Virginia.”
The Wildcats will likely inch up into the top 20 of the AP Top 25, with a win over West Virginia and another potential win against Oklahoma State on Saturday. In that scenario, Kansas State would be one game ahead of the winner of Saturday’s Kansas-Texas Tech game in the Big 12 standings and that’s something voters will likely hold in high regard.
With their sixth win in Big 12 play this season, the Wildcats have reached 20 wins for the fifth time in seven seasons under Weber.
Kansas State returns home to host Oklahoma State on Saturday.
West Virginia heads to Waco to play Baylor on Saturday.