Kansas State holds on late to beat No. 22 Baylor, 63-61

Stephen Hurt
Stephen Hurt (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

MANHATTAN, Kansas (AP) — Nino Williams had 18 points to lead a big second-half rally, and Kansas State forced Kenny Chery to miss a layup at the buzzer to preserve a 63-61 victory over No. 22 Baylor on Saturday.

Marcus Foster added 11 points and Thomas Gipson finished with nine, including a clutch free throw with 4.8 seconds left, to help the Wildcats (10-7, 4-1 Big 12) win their fourth straight game.

Kansas State trailed by as many as 12 in the second half before taking its first lead with about 6 minutes to go. The Bears (13-4, 2-3) were still within three at 61-58 with 45 seconds left, but Chery and Lester Medford each missed open 3-pointers that would have tied it.

Nigel Johnson made one of two foul shots for Kansas State, and Chery quickly raced the other way for layup with 5.4 seconds to go. And after Gipson was fouled and made his second of two free throws, Chery’s runner to the left of the lane bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Chery, who hit the winner with 4 seconds left against No. 11 Iowa State this week, finished with 21 points for Baylor. Taurean Prince added 20 points off the bench.

Baylor made life miserable for the Wildcats at the start, turning them over six times in the first 5 minutes and building a 13-2 lead by the time many fans had found their seats.

Kansas State, no defensive slouch itself, finally settled into a rhythm midway through the half. Starting with a dunk by pint-sized point guard Jevon Thomas, the Wildcats rattled off a 12-0 run over more than 7 minutes, whittling a 14-point lead to 24-22 with 2:04 left.

Prince and Chery answered with consecutive 3-pointers, and then Chery knocked down one more in Thomas’s face as the buzzer sounded to give Baylor a 33-24 halftime lead.

The Bears kept the defensive pressure up in the second half, double-teaming at the top of the key and forcing Kansas State’s inconsistent post players to beat them.

The plan was working for a while as Baylor held tight to a 51-42 lead with 9:26 to go. But about the same time Foster went to the bench with his fourth foul, the Wildcats took off, driving the lane for fouls and going on a 17-2 charge that allowed them to take their first lead.

Despite a nip-and-tuck final few minutes, the Wildcats held on for their 11th win in their last 14 games against ranked teams at Bramlage Coliseum.

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