MANHATTAN–Barry Brown and Kamau Stokes scored 15 points apiece as Kansas State dished No. 7 West Virginia University a 79-75 loss on Saturday.
“We haven’t had that edge and we need to get that edge back,” head coach Bob Huggins said.
Trailing by three with 25 seconds remaining Esa Ahmad’s turnover turned costly, allowing Brown to finish with the fast-break layup to give the Wildcats a 78-73 lead.
Daxter Miles Jr.’s tipin with seven seconds remaining cut the deficit to three but Brown made a free throw to put the game away.
D.J. Johnson had 14 points and eight rebounds. Wesley Iwundu and Dean Wade both added 13 points for Kansas State.
Tarik Phillip led the Mountaineers with 20 points. Jevon Carter notched a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 boards. Miles Jr. added 11 points.
The Mountaineers’ defense struggled much of the game and they turned the ball over 23 times.
“We turned the ball over 23 times to their 16,” Huggins said. “It’s carelessness. It’s a (three-point) game when Esa (Ahmad) throws it away and how does Nate (Adrian) have four turnovers? He’s the most intelligent basketball player I’ve had in years and year and years. How does he turn it over four times? He turned it over four times trying to make plays that weren’t there.
WVU started the game 0-for-6 from the field and committed four early turnovers but a 16-1 run capped by Phillip’s 3-pointer gave the Mountaineers a 18-10 lead with 10:48 remaining.
WVU cruised along and pushed its lead to as many as 12 points before the Wildcats used a 10-0 run to pull within two, 38-36, at the half.
Kansas State picked right back up where they left off in the second half and took a 64-53 lead with 9:47 left on a layup by Stokes.
But the Mountaineers refused to say die and went on a 12-1 run to pull ahead 66-65 on Phillip’s 3-point play with 5:07 to play.
The two teams exchanged points before layups by Iwundu and Stokes put the Wildcats ahead, 73-68, with 2:18 to go.
Adrian’s 3 cut the WVU deficit to 74-71 before Kansas State put the game away.
For a second straight game, WVU was dominated in the paint. Kansas State had a 40-28 edge.
The Mountaineers shot 42 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc. WVU made 21-of-24 from the charity stripe.
The Wildcats shot 50 percent from the floor, 38 percent from 3-point range and 55 percent from the free throw line.
Elijah Macon and Brandon Watkins both fouled out in the second half. Macon was the first player disqualified in a contest this season.
WVU returns home to face No. 2 Kansas on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Cover Photo Credit: Scott Sewell- USA Today Sports