Kansas State University

K-State notes: Wildcats’ Nino Williams has another big game against Baylor

Kansas State’s Nino Williams, who scored 18 points, went past Baylor’s Johnathan Motley (left) on his way to the basket in Saturday’s game in Manhattan, Kan.
Kansas State’s Nino Williams, who scored 18 points, went past Baylor’s Johnathan Motley (left) on his way to the basket in Saturday’s game in Manhattan, Kan. The Associated Press

There is something about Baylor that brings out the best in Kansas State forward Nino Williams.

Williams once again terrorized the Bears on Saturday, scoring 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 25 minutes in the Wildcats’ 63-61 win. It was the third straight game in which he has reached double figures against Baylor. Williams scored 35 points in two games against the Bears last year.

“I don’t know if we messed up in recruiting or something, but he has been really good against us,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “We know he is really good.”

Williams said his playing style, which thrives on midrange jumpers and layups, is a good match for Baylor’s zone defense.

“We could score from the short-corner middles, and I was just lucky my teammates found me,” Williams said. “We knew they did not have a shot blocker, and I figured I could attack the rim.”

Lucky bounce

One of Wesley Iwundu’s six assists for K-State will not be remembered as a classic. Late in the second half, he found Williams under the basket with an awkward pass that bounced off the hands of two defenders.

“I just threw my shoulders up,” Iwundu said. “I just did a shrug, because I don’t know how it got through there. I just guess the luck was on our side.”

Whatever works. The bucket gave K-State a 54-52 lead.

Keeping perspective

K-State coach Bruce Weber tried to keep this victory in perspective.

“It is a long season with a lot of games to go,” Weber said. “We haven’t arrived yet. That was a couple of big wins, but we have put ourselves in a bind. We have to focus on the next one.”

Worth noting

▪ K-State has won six straight games against ranked opponents at Bramlage Coliseum.

▪ The 14-point comeback was the biggest for K-State since rallying from 15 down and beating Charleston Southern in 2011. It was the largest Big 12 rally since 1999 against Iowa State.

First half

Key play: Kenny Chery hit a three on the final play, giving Baylor a 33-24 lead.

Key stat: Chery was perfect on four three-point attempts.

Second half

Key play: Nigel Johnson hit a three that put K-State ahead 59-56.

Key stat: Chery scored just five points.

To reach Kellis Robinett, send email to krobinett@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @KellisRobinett.

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