Manhattan Jacob Pullen and Will Spradling had 17 points apiece, and slow-starting Kansas State held on Monday night for a ragged, foul-plagued victory over Baylor.
The Wildcats (14-7, 2-4), who had lost four of five and tumbled into last place in a Big 12 race they’d been favored to win, used an 11-1 run early in the second half to regain control after the Bears (13-6, 3-3) erased a 25-18 halftime deficit with a quick flurry of three-pointers.
Quincy Acy led Baylor with 14 points. LaceDarius Dunn fouled out with nine seconds left after scoring 13 points, seven below his league-leading average.
Curtis Kelly’s dunk gave Kansas State a 60-50 lead, but the Bears cut it to 60-55 on a three-point play by Perry Jones. It was 63-58 with 28.8 seconds left when Kansas State’s Juevol Myles hit two free throws — his only points of the game.
It was a scruffy first half by teams that were nationally ranked when the season began. They combined on 15-for-52 shooting and 19 fouls and 20 turnovers — 10 apiece.
A.J. Walton drilled two of the Bears’ four three-pointers early in the second half, but also picked up two quick fouls and went to the bench with his fourth at the 16:12 mark.
Dunn also connected from beyond the arc and then a fourth three from Stargell Love gave the Bears a 30-29 lead.
Rodney McGruder answered with a three-pointer over the Baylor zone defense and ignited an 11-1 spree capped by a three-pointer by Pullen that shot the Wildcats into a 40-31 lead with 12:50 to go.
Jamar Samuels scored for Kansas State, then McGruder connected again from beyond the arc. After J’Mison Morgan’s turnover, Pullen’s three put the Wildcats on top by nine.
Jones soared to the bucket for one of the more impressive dunks Bramlage Coliseum has seen this year, but Spradling answered with another three-pointer for Kansas State’s fourth three in its last five field goals and a 43-33 lead.