MANHATTAN — On a night when junior guard Kamau Stokes was lost due to an injury, the K-State basketball team needed someone to step up. That player turned out to be junior guard Barry Brown, who scored a career high 38 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field in K-State’s (12-4, 2-2 Big 12) 86-82 victory over Oklahoma State (11-5, 1-3 Big 12) Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.
“I think I had a pretty big game that helped us get over the top in this one. My teammates were finding me in the right spots. My coaches were calling the right plays to help me drive it. We executed. (Without Stokes), my mindset was for everyone to pick it up a little bit, turn it up a notch, and bring what he brought. I think we did that (Wednesday night),” Brown said.
Brown’s 38 points marked the most by a Wildcat in a game since Jacob Pullen scored 38 against Kansas Feb. 14, 2011. K-State head coach Bruce Weber talked about Brown’s night.
“We jumped on (Brown’s) back. He played a special game, not only scoring. He had six steals. He did just about everything. It was a gutsy performance. It was great to see him get to the basket. That’s what I love. He got some switches and he got to the basket. He got in a little bit of a groove. I didn’t know he had that many (points), but the coaches started saying stuff. I wish he would have made some more free throws down the stretch,” Weber said.
One of Brown’s signature sequences Wednesday night came when Oklahoma State pushed the game within a 39-38 margin with 16:20 remaining in the second half. Brown scored on a layup with 15:59 left in the game to extend K-State’s lead to 41-38. 22 seconds later, Brown converted another layup off of a steal, pushing K-State’s lead to a 43-38 margin. In the second half alone, Brown scored 26 points.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton talked about Brown’s performance.
“Obviously he had a really good night. He did what his team needed him to do to have success. The thing that’s frustrating for me is that I told my team for two days (about Brown). Kamau Stokes is a really big part of the team, but it’s not like those other guys haven’t been around the block a little bit,” Boynton said.
Freshman guard Cartier Diarra gave his impressions of Brown’s night.
“He could have had 40 if he hit his free throws. It was an amazing performance. He played great on defense, so it wasn’t just a (big night) offensively. He got steals and he made timely buckets when we needed it,” Diarra said.
Diarra also had a career night Wednesday. In his first career start, Diarra scored 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while recording four assists and four rebounds. Diarra talked about his game.
“I feel like I played a solid game. I made a couple mistakes and I have got to learn from that. Ultimately we came out with the win and that is the most important thing,” Diarra said.
Weber gave his impressions of Diarra’s game.
“I thought he was very good. He gets a little casual. He didn’t really understand how quick (Oklahoma State’s players) are. He was good,” Weber said.
Boynton gave some thoughts on Diarra’s performance.
“He is a good player and he is going to be a good player. Obviously he has got a lot to learn because it is a hard league to play in. He was thrown into the fire and he helped his team win tonight, so hats off to him,” Boynton said.
In addition to Brown and Diarra’s career nights, sophomore guard Xavier Sneed grabbed a career high 12 rebounds Wednesday night. Sneed talked about his work on the glass.
“Early on, (Oklahoma State) got a couple offensive rebounds. I just made it an emphasis to get to the boards and just kept rebounding,” Sneed said,
Sneed also scored 11 points to post his first career double-double.
K-State will be back in action Saturday morning, as it travels to Lawrence to face off against No. 12 Kansas in the latest installment of the Sunflower Showdown. The game will start at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.