Senior Cartier Martin had 15 points and seven rebounds, and junior David Hoskins had 13 points and seven boards against the Bears, Those two are without a doubt the leaders of the team, but neither one of them have been the leading scorer or played the most minutes during the Wildcats current two-game win streak, which also includes an 85-81 victory last Saturday at Missouri.
The players who have led the team in those categories, and have been the main reason why K-State (12-6 overall, 2-2 Big 12 Conference) has won its last two games, are senior Lance Harris and junior Clent Stewart. Harris had a game-high 18 points in 38 minutes of action against the Bears. He also collected six rebounds, tied for the team lead in assists with three and converted 3-of-6 three-point attempts.
He again led the team in minutes with 38 against Missouri, while also scoring 16 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out a team-high four assists.
"I have been seeing my opportunities to get to the basket a little bit more, and I have been trying to take advantage," Harris said. "I will continue to shoot the ball and drive to the hole as long as I keep getting good looks."
Stewart has also been hot as of late, scoring 12 in 33 minutes (second only to Harris) against Baylor, including what coach Bob Huggins said was the shot that got the Wildcats over the hump and allowed them to mount a comeback from an 11-point second-half deficit.
K-State continued to claw its way back into the game, but Baylor (11-6, 1-3 Big 12) would not allow the Wildcats a chance to get any closer than two points until Stewart made the play of the game.
Harris drove the lane and kicked out to a wide-open Stewart, who hit a three from the left wing with 6:24 remaining in the game. The basket brought the team within one at 55-54, and sparked a 14-5 run that stretched throughout the remainder of the game.
"In this conference, one game can be a big game – especially against Baylor," Stewart said. "Coach told us coming in that you only get one shot against Baylor unless we play them in the tournament. We knew that we couldn't get this game back. If it comes down to it and we are tied in records, us having this win would be crucial."
Not only did Stewart play an integral role in the victory over the Bears, but he also came up big in the game against Missouri. He led the team in scoring with 19, which also tied his career high. He was right behind Harris in minutes with 35, while grabbing five rebounds and recording a team-high two steals.
During this recent two-game stretch, Harris and Stewart have combined to shoot 51.2 percent from the field, and an astounding 55.6 percent from the three-point line. The duo has also converted 11-of-13 free throw attempts, and they had only one turnover against Baylor.
"Two-and-two is better than one-and-three, but three-and-one is better than two-and-two," Huggins said after the game when asked about his team's current position in the conference. "It's an old cliché but we are not good enough to look down the road. We have to take the games and be ready for the game at hand. Our margin for error is not great so we have to do things right, and we have to be prepared. There's nothing wrong with that, you just have to be prepared and you have to show up to play all the time."
K-State will play its next game Saturday at Iowa State, and will be hoping to improve to three conference wins early in the season.
This will be a tough road test for the Wildcats, and Stewart and Harris will need to continue contributing in order for the team to be able to come out with a win in Ames, Iowa.