K-State sees win streak come to end at TCU

TCU guard Shahada Wells (13) goes up for a shot as Kansas State guard Desi Sills, left, defends...
TCU guard Shahada Wells (13) goes up for a shot as Kansas State guard Desi Sills, left, defends in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)(Tony Gutierrez | AP)
Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 7:50 PM CST
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FORT WORTH, Texas. (School Release) - No. 11/13 Kansas State saw its 9-game winning streak end on Saturday afternoon, as No. 17/17 TCU used its stellar defensive pressure to harass the Wildcats into 20 turnovers, which the Horned Frogs converted into 26 points, en route to an 82-68 win before 5,884 fans at Schollmaier Arena.

TCU (14-3, 3-2 Big 12), which took control with a 10-0 run midway through the first half, led by 14 points at the half and by as many as 25 in the second half before K-State (15-2, 4-1 Big 12) was able to cut the deficit to 12 on two occasions late. However, the Wildcats could go no closer, as they lost for the first time in nearly 7 weeks.

Senior Keyontae Johnson led three players in double figures with a near double-double of 18 points and 9 rebounds, while senior Markquis Nowell finished with 16 points but with his second-fewest assists (4) on the season to go with 2 rebounds and 2 steals in nearly 38 minutes. Senior Tykei Greene provided a spark in the second half with a season-high 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin grabbed a season-best 10 rebounds and dished out a season-high 5 assists to go with his 8 points.

Four Horned Frogs scored in double figures led by senior Emanuel Miller’s game-high 23 points, while sophomore Eddie Lampkin was a force in the paint with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Mike Miles, Jr., notched a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 11 assists.

A motivated TCU team, which lost on a last-second shot to No. 25/25 Iowa State at home on Jan. 7 before losing an 18-point lead at No. 10/10 Texas on Wednesday, showed why they are the nation’s top-ranked transition team (21.4 points per game), using its 15 steals to post a 32-13 advantage in fast-break points. The 32 fast-break points are the most allowed to an opponent since the stat has been kept starting in 2000-01.

The Horned Frogs were efficient on the offensive end, connecting on 46.5 percent (33-of-71) from the field, while recording an opponent season-high 54 points in the paint. They had 22 assists, including a game-high 11 from Miles, with just 10 turnovers. They also were called for just 8 personal fouls.

The Wildcats finished at 43.1 percent (28-of-65) from the field, including 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from 3-point range, while making 6 of its their 7 free throws.

The loss ended K-State’s 9-game winning streak, which was the longest since a 10-game streak from Nov. 24, 2013, to Jan. 7, 2014.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Neither team was particularly sharp to start the game, as the game was knotted at 6-all at the first media timeout at the 15:31 mark. K-State was able to use a 5-0 spurt, which included the game’s first 3-pointer from senior Desi Sills, to jump out to an 11-6 lead. However, TCU got things turned around on the defense end, as the nation’s No. 1 transition team used turnovers to take a 18-13 advantage at the midway point of the first half.

The Wildcats were able to cut the lead to 4 points twice in the latter part of the opening half, but every time the Horned Frogs were able to deliver an answer. Leading 25-21 after the first basket by senior Markquis Nowell, the Frogs turned up the defensive pressure, using turnovers to ignite a 7-0 run to push their advantage to 32-21 with 4:20 to play and force head coach Jerome Tang to call his first timeout.

The timeout didn’t seem to thwart the momentum, as TCU led by as many as 15 points down the stretch before taking a 43-29 advantage into the locker room. The Horned Frogs turned 12 Wildcats into a 16-4 advantage in points off turnovers, while converting on 50 percent (20-of-40) shooting from the field with 36 of their 43 points coming in the paint. Sophomore Eddie Lampkin led a pair of Frogs in double figures with 13 points.

The halftime break didn’t seem stop TCU, as the Horned Frogs scored 12 of the first 16 points to start the second half to build a 55-33 lead and force Tang to call a timeout with 13:30 to play. The lead grew to 25 after a 3-pointer by junior Rondel Walker made it 62-37 with nearly 11 minutes remaining.

The Horned Frogs maintained a lead of better than 20 points before a 3-pointer by Nowell started a 12-3 run that cut the deficit to 74-61 with 3:10 to play. The senior was responsible for 9 points during the stretch. He registered a second triple to pull the Wildcats to within 76-64 then again at 78-66 on a layup, but that was as close as they could get as the Frogs finished it off to snap a 2-game skid.