Waco, TX – Rodney McGruder's 3-pointer as time expired lifted No. 13 Kansas State to a 64-61 win over Baylor on Saturday.
Baylor's Pierre Jackson knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game with 36 seconds left, and the Bears clamped down on defense to force a Shane Southwell air-ball that landed out of bounds under Baylor's basket, giving the Bears a chance at a last-second score.
Jacob Neubert's length-of-the-court pass sailed over the outstretched arms of Isaiah Austin, however, giving the Wildcats the ball under Baylor's basket with one second left.
Angel Rodriguez then found McGruder all alone on the right wing, and the senior guard buried the trey as the final horn sounded to lift Kansas State to its fifth straight win.
"Coach drew it up and it was kind of a read from me too. I saw the way that he guarded it and I was fortunate enough to make the shot," McGruder said. "When I released it, it felt good."
McGruder finished with 18 points and Angel Rodriguez added 13 points and eight assists for the Wildcats (24-5, 13-3 Big 12), who are tied with No. 6 Kansas atop the Big 12 standings.
Jackson finished with 18 points and seven assists and Austin chipped in 11 points and 12 rebounds for Baylor (17-12, 8-8), which has dropped four of its last five games.
"I don't remember losing on a buzzer-beater ever. So I don't really know how to react to it, but like Coach Drew said, we got to have a short-term memory, because we have a big one Monday too," Jackson said.
Kansas State led 54-50 with just over six minutes left, but Jackson buried a trey to pull Baylor within one at the 5:25 mark.
After forcing a pair of misses on the Wildcats' next trip down the court, Baylor took its first lead since the start of the half following Cory Jefferson's three-point play.
Rodriguez answered with a triple with 3 1/2 minutes left before Henriquez swatted away Jackson's layup, then raced down the court and threw down a ferocious alley-oop from Rodriguez to make it 59-56 with 2:49 left.
Jackson split a pair of free throws nearly a minute later to make it a two- point game, and the Bears forced a pair of Kansas State misses before Jackson knocked down two more free throws to tie the game at the 1:23 mark.
McGruder answered with a jumper to put the Wildcats ahead 61-59 with just over a minute left, but Jackson was able to draw a foul with 36 ticks showing, and knocked down the subsequent free throws to tie the game at 61-61.
The teams traded baskets early in the first half until the Bears went up 21-16 following Austin's three-point play with 9 1/2 minutes left.
Kansas State responded with a 14-4 burst to take a 30-25 lead nearly four minutes later, but Baylor closed the half on a 9-3 swing to take a 34-33 lead into the break.
Kansas State holds a 16-12 advantage in the all-time series ... The Wildcats improved to 7-2 on the road this season ... Kansas State's bench outscored Baylor's reserves 18-2 ... Jefferson finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in the setback.