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Wildcats grit out victory against Texas

Brown closes out game with 14 points in final five minutes.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Kansas State
Bruce Weber outcoached Shaka Smart down the stretch Wednesday night by having Barry Brown Jr. on his team.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas State Wildcats built a 5-point lead in the second half against the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday night before falling behind 44-42 with 5:18 left in the game. From that point, K-State closed on a 16-4 run to sweep Texas, 58-48, led by junior guard Barry Brown Jr., giving his best audition to be added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Brown scored 14 of his game-high 16 points in the final five minutes Wednesday, scoring on layups, jumpers, free-throws, and one of three Wildcat three-pointers. Dean Wade (13 points) and Cartier Diarra (12 points) joined Brown in double-figures for K-State, and Xavier Sneed’s 13 rebounds led K-State to a 39-36 advantage on the boards. It was K-State’s second game in a row winning the rebounding battle.

Aside from Brown’s late outburst, this was an ugly game. The final five minutes raised K-State’s shooting percentage to 41.7 percent, which actually was a big advantage compared to Texas’ 28.6 percent (including 19 percent in the second half). K-State was the superior shot-blocking team Wednesday, despite Texas’ Mohamed Bamba. Wade swatted four Texas shots, and K-State combined for seven blocks.

With the victory, K-State is 20-8 and tied for third place in the Big 12 with a 9-6 conference record. The Wildcats’ finish the season with road trips to Oklahoma and TCU, then Senior Night against Baylor in Manhattan.