FORT WORTH, Texas – 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.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Senior Keyontae Johnson continued his double-digit streak with 18 points on 7-of-16 field goals to go with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block in 38 minutes.
Senior Markquis Nowell scored in double figures for the 13th consecutive game with 16 points on 6-of-14 field goals, including 2-of-7 from 3-point range, to go with 4 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in 38 minutes. The 4 assists tied his second-lowest total of the season, while he had 6 turnovers.
STAT OF THE GAME
26 – TCU forced K-State into a near season-high 20 turnovers, converting those miscues into 26 points.
IN THEIR WORDS
Head coach Jerome Tang
On the game…
“All the credit to Jamie Dixon and his team. They did a great job of preparing in the quick turnaround coming off a tough loss (at Texas). The environment was incredible. And so, you got to give them all the credit in the world, in this league, you can prepare and bring it, and still lose. I was very disappointed in myself and our staff in our preparation. I don’t feel like in hindsight that we gave our guys the best opportunity to win this game. And we will do a better job of that. But we can’t do anything about it, so we’re gonna shelve it, and move on to the next thing.”
On the cause of all the turnovers…
“The cause of all the turnovers came from their defense and the positions we put our guys in, where they bring in help from. We made an adjustment in the second half, and I felt that helped. But they did a really good job in the first half of helping off the right guys and taking away certain driving lanes that we have within our offensive goals. We’ve been there so credit to them.”
On pushing the panic button…
“Panic about what? Right? I don’t know our record off the top of my head, but I know we only have two losses. So, I mean, there’s nothing to panic about. I got a veteran group, I got a bunch of winners in a locker room, both on the staff and on the team. And this is the Big 12. Right now, no one is expecting anyone to go undefeated in this league. You can prepare, and you can play well and still lose, right? And so yeah, there’s no panic. It is on to the next thing. Tough teams do the next right thing. That’s what we’ll try to do get on this plane real quick.”
On how you put this loss behind you…
“Not making that big of a deal about it. And having older guys who can get out of their feelings. We say control what you can control. We can’t control anything that’s already happened. But we can control moving forward. And having that kind of a mindset. And I feel like our guys have done that all year long. Whether it’s not turning one bad practice into two. They’ve always stepped up. So, I mean, we’re just going to move on, but we’ve got two losses, right?”
Senior Markquis Nowell
On the game…
“All the credit goes to TCU. They were just better than us today.”
“They’re pretty good. They get a lot out of transition, like number one in the country in transition baskets. And you see that today, a lot of guys playing big, guys coming off the bench. And like I said, I give a lot of credit to them. They came well prepared.”
On his struggles today…
“I feel like I’m way better than what I’ve displayed today. I could have done better than leading I could have done better with my defense. I could have been I could have done better with communicating. But you know, like coach said we got to watch this on, drain it and prepare for Kansas. But yeah, I just gotta be better all around.”
Senior Keyontae Johnson
On getting past this one…
“Just coming into practice tomorrow with focus. We got to put this game behind us.”
On the Big 12…
“Obviously, it’s best conference in the country. You have to bring your best every night. I wanted to play the best, so I made the right decision to come to K-State and play in the Big 12.”
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- Despite the loss, the 15-2 record is the best since opening the 2012-13 season with a 15-2 mark.
- The loss snapped K-State’s 9-game winning streak, which was the longest since winning 10 in a row from Nov. 24, 2013, to Jan. 7, 2014.
- K-State is now 272-109 as a ranked team, including 7-6 as the No. 11 team.
- K-State still leads the all-time series with TCU, 20-11, including 17-9 in the Big 12 era… The Wildcats are 8-4 all-time in Fort Worth and had won 3 of the last 4 meetings, including the last 2, before the loss.
- K-State used a starting lineup of fifth-year senior Markquis Nowell, sophomore Cam Carter, fifth-year senior Keyontae Johnson, junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin and senior Abayomi Iyiola… It marked the fifth time in 17 games using this lineup.
- Nowell made his 39th start at K-State, while Carter, Johnson and Tomlin all made their 17th starts in Wildcat uniforms and Iyiola his sixth… It was Johnson’s 72nd start in college (other 55 at Florida), 70th for Iyiola (other 39 at Stetson and 25 at Hofstra), 21st for Carter (other 4 at Mississippi State) and 17th for Tomlin (all at K-State).
- K-State scored its 68 points on 43.1 percent shooting (28-of-65), including 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from 3-point range, and connected on 85.7 percent (6-of-7) from free throw line.
- K-State had an assist on 15 of its 28 made field goals, including 5 players with 2 or more assists.
- TCU posted opponent season-highs for points in the paint (54), points off turnovers (26), fast-break points (32) and steals (15)… The 32 fast-break points are the most allowed to an opponent since the stat has been kept starting 2000-01… The 15 steals are the most since also allowing 15 at Kansas in 2008.
- TCU led 43-29 at half behind 50 percent (20-of-40) shooting and a stellar 36 points in the paint… Two Frogs were in double figures led by Eddie Lampkin (13 points) and Emanuel Miller (11 points)… Senior Keyontae Johnson led the Wildcats with 8 points and 5 rebounds.
- K-State is now 5-2 when trailing at the half.
- Senior Keyontae Johnson scored 18 points on 7-of-16 field goals to go with 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 38 minutes… Johnson now 55 career double-digit scoring games, including all 17 games… He registered at least 9 rebounds for the seventh time.
- Senior Markquis Nowell scored 16 points on 6-of-14 field goals, including 2-of-7 from 3-point range, while hitting both free throw attempts… He added 4 assists (tying for the second fewest) to go with 2 rebounds and 2 steals in 38 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 81 career games, including 34 in his K-State career and 15 this season.
- Senior Tykei Greene registered double-digit points for the first time this season, scoring his 11 points all in the second half on 5-of-7 field goals, including 1-of-2 from 3-point range… He has now scored in double figures in 55 career games.
- Junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds and dished out a season-best 5 assists to go with his 8 points in 38 minutes.
K-State returns to Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday night at 6 p.m., CT, as the Wildcats play host to No. 2/2 Kansas (16-1, 5-0 Big 12) in the Dillon’s Sunflower Showdown. The game will air nationally on ESPN.