By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor men’s basketball fell to Kansas State 77-67 Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, Kan. in the Bears’ regular season finale.
The Bears (18-13, 8-10) finished under .500 in Big 12 conference play for the first time since 2011.
Baylor senior forward Nuni Omot poured in a career-high 30 points including 6-for-9 shooting from 3-point range.
K-State junior forward Dean Wade finished with a team-high 25 points and seven rebounds.
Senior center Jo Lual-Acuil, Jr. scored at the basket twice in the first four minutes, but threes from K-State freshman guard Cartier Diarra and Wade pushed the Wildcats to an 8-6 lead at the 15:51 mark of the first half.
K-State sophomore forward Makol Mawien scored six straight points for the Wildcats, but Omot checked into the game for the Bears and scored on a three-pointer and a layup to cut the lead to 14-13 with 11:34 remaining in the first half.
After three made free throws from Omot gave Baylor a 23-22 lead with six minutes left, Baylor turned it over on five of their last seven possessions. The Wildcats went on a 13-2 run to end the half and took 35-25 lead into the break on a buzzer beating jumper by Wade.
A hook shot by Mawien gave K-State its largest lead of the game at 12, but back-to-back threes from Omot cut the lead to 42-35 at the 15:39 mark of the second half.
Diarra drained a three-pointer, Brown nailed a turnaround jumper and junior guard Amaad Wainright flushed home a dunk on the fast break as K-State increased its lead to 52-39 with 12:02 remaining in the game.
The Wildcats took a 16-point lead at the 10:07 mark, but Maston rolled to the rim for a vicious dunk and Omot showed off the range with two more three-pointers and a dunk of his own to make it 60-52 with 8:01 left.
Junior guard Jake Lindsey scored in transition to make it a six-point game, but Brown and Wade each knocked down jumpers as K-State extended its lead to 69-60 with 3:39 remaining.
The Wildcats made their free throws down the stretch to hold on and win 77-67.
K-State shot 52 percent from the field and held the lead for 36 out of 40 minutes.
The Bears will face either Texas Tech or West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament at 8 p.m. Thursday in Kansas City, Mo.