Stokes’ 20 Propels K-State Past Baylor, 70-63

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Senior Kamau Stokes paced four Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 20 points, as Kansas State extended its Big 12 winning streak to eight games with a 70-63 victory over Baylor on Saturday night before 8,466 fans at the Ferrell Center.

The 8-game conference winning streak is the longest by a K-State team in the Big 12 era and the longest regular-season conference winning streak in 45 seasons since the Wildcats won 11 consecutive conference games from Jan. 14 to Feb. 26, 1974 in the old Big Eight Conference.

Down 48-41 with 9:50 remaining, K-State (18-5, 8-2 Big 12) ended the game on a 29-15 run, including a pivotal 21-5 spurt ignited by a 3-pointer from sophomore Cartier Diarra, to earn its fifth consecutive win over Baylor (15-8, 6-4 Big 12), including its third in a row at the Ferrell Center.

The Wildcats, which shot just 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from the field, did most of their offensive damage from 3-point range, knocking down 6 of 9 triples in the second half, including 3 in the last 6:11 of the contest. The team has now connected on 35 3-point field goals in the last 3 games on 44.3 percent shooting (35-of-79).

Stokes was among four players to score in double figures, as he and fellow seniors Barry Brown, Jr. (13) and Dean Wade (12) combined to score 45 of the Wildcats’ 70 points. Stokes went 5-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and a perfect 7-of-7 from free throw line in 36 minutes. It marked his ninth career 20-point game, including his second this season.

Brown, who has now scored in double figures in 10 consecutive games, became the school’s all-time leader in consecutive games played (128) with his 106th straight start, breaking his tie with Steve Henson (127, 1987-90). He finished with 13 points on 4-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range, to go with a game-high 6 assist and 3 rebounds. Wade, who has now scored in double figures in 7 straight games, chipped in 12 points on 4-of-10 field goals and 4-of-4 free throws to go with a team-tying 7 rebounds.

Diarra, who scored all 10 of his points during the pivotal 29-15 run to end the game, enjoyed a solid all-around game with 4 assists, 2 blocks and 2 assists in 29 minutes off the bench.

K-State is now 8-1 this season when four or more players score in double figures.

Baylor, which played without senior starters Makai Mason and King McClure due to injuries, were led by junior Devonte Bandoo’s 15 points, while junior Freddie Gillespie and freshman Jared Butler added 13 points each.

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Mitch Fortner

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