- Associated Press - Saturday, January 14, 2017

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Trailing midway through the second half, top-ranked Baylor suddenly surged to avoid a second straight loss.

Manu Lecomte scored 26 points despite early foul trouble, Ish Wainright and Al Freeman had key baskets down the stretch and the Bears outlasted No. 25 Kansas State 77-68 on Saturday.

Wainright and Freeman each had 15 points as Baylor (15-1, 3-1 Big 12) bounced back from a lopsided loss at No. 10 West Virginia in their first game as the nation’s No. 1 team.

“We were able to get some stops and get into transition and get some good looks and make a couple of 3s,” coach Scott Drew said.

Kansas State held a two-point lead with 10 minutes to go. From that point, Baylor outscored the Wildcats 32-21.

Johnathan Motley was held to seven points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 4:34 left and the Bears leading 62-55. But they managed to hang on down the stretch without their most dependable player.

D.J. Johnson had points to lead the Wildcats (13-4, 2-3), including two free throws after Motley fouled out to get within 62-57 with just over 4 minutes to go.

But the Wildcats were unable to make key stops the rest of the way, and the trio of Wainright, Freeman and Lecomte seemed to will the Bears to victory.

“They’re good,” Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber said.

“They’re steady and smart. They executed, they made plays and we didn’t have an answer for them,” he said.

Freeman scored with just over 3 minutes left to make it 66-58, and Wainright had a putback with just over 2 minutes left that gave the Bears a 68-60 advantage.

Barry Brown finished with 13 points, Xavier Sneed added 12 and Kamau Stokes had 10 for the Wildcats.

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: Answered a lot of critics after its poor showing in Morgantown by beating the Wildcats on the road. The Bears have won six of their last seven against Kansas State.

Kansas State: Has lost three of its last four games, including a last-second defeat at No. 2 Kansas and a loss at Texas Tech where the Wildcats also led late. Those defeats coupled with a weak nonconference schedule could haunt the Wildcats when the NCAA Tournament field is set.

UP NEXT

Baylor: Heads home to face Texas on Tuesday night.

Kansas State: Goes to Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.

POLL IMPLICATIONS: Despite being the top-ranked team, Baylor is virtually certain to fall because of its loss at West Virginia.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide