Kansas State holds off TCU 53-49 in Big 12 tourney

Kansas State guard Cartier Diarra (2) drives past TCU guard Francisco Farabello (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the Big 12 men's basketball tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Cartier Diarra scored 13 points, Mike McGuirl added eight points that included two free throws to ice the game as No. 10 seed Kansas State beat seventh-seeded TCU 53-49 in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday night.

Kansas State (11-21) scored the final eight points of the game and has won consecutive games for the first time since November.

RJ Nembhard scored 19 points to led the way for TCU (16-16). Desmond Bane provided 16 points.

David Sloan added nine points and Xavier Sneed had eight for Kansas State, which shot 21 of 54 (39%) from the field while the Horned Frogs were 20-of-50 shooting (40%). The Wildcats also had a 36-27 rebounding advantage, and held the lead for 35 minutes.

The Horned Frogs got their first lead of the game, 46-45 with five minutes left, on a floater by Nembhard, and then stretched it to 49-45 on a Kevin Samuel’s free throw and jumper. TCU then didn’t score in the final three minutes of the game.

Sneed, McGuirl and Mawien made a basket apiece and the Wildcats led 51-49 with 1:19 to play. PJ Fuller and Nembhard each missed a 3-point shot before McGuirl made a pair of free throws with two seconds left.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced 30 minutes before the start of the Iowa State-Oklahoma State game in the opener that the league would not allow fans at any games after Wednesday night. The only people in attendance for the rest of the tournament will be teams, family members and essential staff. Each team will get 125 tickets to hand out on a game-by-game basis.

BIG PICTURE

TCU: The Horned Frogs started slowly, but caught fire in the second half (13-of-28 from the field including four 3-pointers). It wasn’t enough though as their season came to an end.

Kansas State: Coming off a 79-63 win against Iowa State on Saturday, the Wildcats used that momentum to beat TCU. But in order to win the next one against second-ranked Baylor, they’ll have to play much better.

UP NEXT

TCU’s season is over.

Kansas State will play No. 2 Baylor on Thursday night.