MANHATTAN, Kan. – A balanced scoring effort led by a game-high 20 points from junior Dean Wade helped carry Kansas State to its second consecutive Top 25 win of the week in a 73-68 victory over No. 24/25 TCU before a season-best crowd of 11,194 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
With today’s win, the Wildcats (14-5, 4-3 Big 12) posted back-to-back victories at home over Top 25 teams for the first time since knocking off No. 8 Kansas (70-63) and No. 12 Iowa State (70-69) on February 23 and 28, 2015. The team now has 36 wins over Top 25 teams at Bramlage Coliseum, including 16 under head coach Bruce Weber.
For the fourth consecutive game and eighth time this season, four Wildcats reached double figures, including a game-high 20 points from Wade, and a career-high 18 points from sophomore Makol Mawien. Junior Barry Brown, Jr., scored 12 of his 15 points after halftime, while sophomore Xavier Sneed added 10 points.
K-State connected on 52.9 percent (27-of-51) from the field, which is the 10th time this season the team has connected on 50 percent or better in a contest, including 42.1 percent (8-of-19) from beyond the arc.
TCU (14-5, 2-5 Big 12), which was held to 20 points below its scoring average of 88.6 points per game, was led by senior forward Vlad Brodziansky, who scored 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field.
HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State picked up right where the squad left off in their upset of No. 4 Oklahoma on Tuesday, as the Wildcats rattled off nine consecutive points out of the gates against the Horned Frogs, including 4 points from Mawien.
The early streak forced an early timeout for TCU, but K-State would continue to put up points, jumping out to a 17-7 run five minutes into the game.
The early scoring outburst came in result of three 3-pointers from Brown Jr., Wade and Sneed. The Wildcats shot 60 percent (3-of-5) during that span, which was coupled with strong play on the defensive end.
In the first half, K-State was able to hold TCU to 36 percent (10-28) from the field, as Kouat Noi led the Horned Frogs in scoring with 7 points at the half. K-State’s pressure forced 7 turnovers in the first half that led to 10 points.
Later in the first half, redshirt freshman Cartier Diarra connected on a 3-pointer to continue the hot hand for the Wildcats, which provoked a technical foul on the TCU bench. Sneed was then sent to the free throw line, where he hit both attempts to give K-State a 12-point advantage at 27-15 with 10:48 remaining in the half.
TCU was able to claw back to draw the score to just 31-28 with 5:32 remaining in the half. However, consecutive buckets by Mawien and a 3-pointer from Wade pushed the lead back to 38-28 with 2:03 to play.
The scoring from Wade and Mawien from the K-State front court, who each hit double-digits in the first half with 13 and 10 points, respectively, extended the lead to 38-30 at halftime. The Wildcats shot 50 percent (15-of-30) from the field in the first half, including 16 points in the paint.
In the second half, TCU pulled within five points when K-State hit a slump, in which the Wildcats did not score for just over four minutes. However, K-State found a spark from Wade when he hit a 3-pointer in the corner that was assisted by freshman guard Mike McGuirl to push it back to 47-39 with 12:48 remaining.
K-State led the game nearly though its entirety, despite TCU drawing close on numerous occasions. With time dwindling down in the second half and leading by 3, Brown nailed a 3-pointer from Wade, to extend the lead to 59-53, with 6:30 to play in what was a pivotal turning point in the game.
TCU head coach Jamie Dixon was ejected from the game after a second technical foul was called with 5:23 left.
With under four minutes remaining and leading by two, the Wildcats turned to Wade again to provide a shift of momentum, as Brown found Wade in the paint for an electric dunk to push it to 64-60 with 3:42 to play.
Following the Wade dunk, the Wildcats and Horned Frogs went back-and-forth trading buckets, as Brown was able to drive the lane and score 4 straight points for K-State.
With under 30 seconds remaining and up 4 points, K-State was able to force a tough shot for TCU to take back possession with 14 seconds remaining. After a missed free throw from Wade, the Horned Frogs forced a turnover on the inbound to bring the score to 70-68 with 3.8 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing inbound, the Wildcats were able to get the ball in the hands of Brown, who hit both shots in the 1-and-1 to bring the score to 72-68. He would go to the line one more time, to seal the game at 73-68.
Despite the many swings in the game, K-State held the advantage for the entirety of the game, as the game was tied for only 40 seconds. The Wildcats won the game behind 52.9 percent shooting (27-of-51) from the field, while holding TCU to 42.9 percent shooting (24-of-56).
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Makol Mawien – The sophomore forward set a career-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, and he added 5 rebounds to his stat line. Mawien’s previous career-high of 15 points came earlier this season against Washington State.