Comeback Cats

"To beat a very good team, a top ranked team, it's a credit to our guys," said head coach Bruce Weber. "We hung in there. We didn't look very good in the game's first eight or 10 minutes; we had too many turnovers... but we told the guys, you just have to keep fighting and grinding and hope some things happen. We found a group that defended pretty well, we got some stops, I thought the crowd got into it and we made some plays."
Despite falling behind by 14 points in the opening minutes, K-State never gave up and, shot by shot, stop by stop, it clawed its way back into the game. 
In the closing minutes of the first half, the Wildcats went on a 12-0 run led by sophomore guard Marcus Foster. However, three straight Bear 3-pointers to close the half put Baylor ahead, 33-24, at halftime. 
Down by nine points, K-State continued to battle in the second half. However, with 11:30 left on the clock and the Wildcats down by 12 points, Foster was sent to the bench with four fouls.
"I was feeling good because I know how quick Foster can light up things," said Baylor head coach Scott Drew about Foster leaving the game. "I thought that was really the point in the game where we needed to get separation. Credit K-State for executing and doing a great job during that stretch. There are no safe leads in the Big 12."
Though their main scorer was out, senior forward Nino Williams took over the reins for K-State. 
Scoring 16 second-half points, Williams led K-State on a 17-2 run and helped secure the team's first lead with six minutes left. 
"Coach told us to stick with it, and I just understood the Baylor zone, ways to score, the openings and Wesley (Iwundu) found me a couple of times," explained Williams on his big second half. "We knew that they didn't have a shot blocker in without (Jonathan) Motley, so I just figured I could attack the rim. (My team) saw me and I was fortunate enough to make plays."
Williams finished the game with a team-high 18 points and seven rebounds. 
Though he scored 16 in the game's first half, the Wildcats held Baylor high-scorer Kenny Chery to just five second-half points thanks to Iwundu.
At halftime, K-State made the switch to put Iwundu on Chery, and it was exactly what the Wildcats needed to keep the crafty guard in check. 
"All that was going through my mind was to have him shoot contested shots," explained Iwundu. "I knew he wanted to go right and shoot the ball, so I was kind of leaning towards sending him left. So, just bothering him left and created tough shots on him. All the talk at halftime was how we could stop him, and I thought we did a good job of shutting him down in the second half."
Iwundu closed the game with eight points and one rebound along with two steals and a team-high six assists. 
Yesterday's victory marked the 12th-largest comeback in school history and the largest comeback win since 2011.
Continuing to be dangerous on their home court, yesterday's win marked the Wildcats' sixth consecutive win over a top-25 ranked opponent in Bramlage Coliseum. 
"The crowd got into it," said Williams, "and once the crowd got into it, defensively, everybody just got energized. It was a great crowd. They gave us a sixth man out there."
The Wildcats are riding a four-game winning streak and are currently tied for first in the in the Big 12 with a 4-1 conference record (11-7 on the season). 
Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to Ames, Iowa, to take on the No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones in Hilton Coliseum on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the game will be aired nationally on ESPN2. 
"Today was a nice win for our guys," concluded Weber. "I'm happy for them. Now all we can do is worry about the next one at Iowa State. We'll go to Ames on Monday morning, get ready for them, and that's all you can do: keep guarding, keep improving."
For quotes, stats, photos and more from last night's game, please click here
Yesterday was a busy day for K-State Athletics.
Along with the men's basketball game, track and field team won the KSU-KU-WSU Triangular in Ahearn Field House, tennis beat UNI at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium and the K-State women's basketball team packed Bramlage Coliseum as it took on Iowa State.
A jam-packed day filled with excitement, here's a look at how each team fared:
In a rare home season-opener played outdoors at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium in January, No. 64 Kansas State captured the home debut of head coach Danielle Steinberg with a 6-1 win over Northern Iowa on Saturday.
For more info on yesterday's home match, please click here.
Stay tuned for a feature later this week on the K-State tennis team's upcoming schedule and Steinberg's thoughts on her first home competition.
K-State Track and Field used a stellar overall performance by both the men's and women's squads to defeat Kansas and Wichita State in the KSU-KU-WSU Triangular at Ahearn Field House. The Wildcats combined to score 261 points, with Wichita State finishing second at 217 points and Kansas in third at 202 points.
The meet which revived the tradition of an annual Triangular between K-State, KU and Missouri that went from 1989-2006, also continued the tradition of victory for the team in purple and white. Prior to the meet ending in 2006, K-State had won eight-straight and 15 of 17 in the series overall.
To continue reading about yesterday's meet, please click here
Playing in front of a season-high crowd on Saturday night, Kansas State responded with a strong first half but Iowa State shot themselves to a 79-59 win over the Wildcats in the second half.
For stats, highlights and more on last night's game, please click here