KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kamau Stokes had just been hammered by TCU on the way to the basket, and Kansas State’s senior guard was still lying face-down on the floor when a scratchy voice rang out inside Sprint Center.
“Make your free throws!” Wildcats coach Bruce Weber yelled.
So much for sympathy.
Stokes made the first and clanked the second, but the Wildcats secured the rebound and Stokes buried a 3-pointer to atone for the miss. The four-point play allowed Kansas State to edge ahead, and the regular-season champs never trailed down the stretch in a 70-61 victory over the Horned Frogs on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.
“Coach Weber always talks about toughness and I’m pretty sure he wanted me to get up,” said Stokes, who finished with 11 points. “Just had to let the pain wear off a bit.”
He’ll have 24 hours to rest before a semifinal date with No. 5 seed Iowa State.
Xavier Sneed led all scorers with 19 points, none bigger than a 3-pointer as the shot clock sounded in the final minute. Barry Brown added 12 points and Makol Mawien had 10 for the Wildcats (25-7), who played without All-Big 12 forward Dean Wade in their first game as a No. 1-seed since 1977.
Wade watched the game from the sideline with a boot on his right foot, and probably had a hard time not leaping from his seat when Kansas State seized control in the second half.
“Just proud of our guys continuing to be resilient and fight,” Weber said.