FORT WORTH, Texas – Sophomore Nijel Pack paced four Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 20 points, as Kansas State avenged its earlier loss to TCU with a near wire-to-wire 75-63 victory over the Horned Frogs before a raucous crowd of 7,581 fans at Schollmaier Arena on Saturday night.
K-State (12-10, 4-6 Big 12), which has had its share of close games this season, finally jumped out on a Big 12 opponent and didn’t let up, leading a TCU squad that had won 3 of its last 4 games, including back-to-back wins over LSU and Oklahoma, for more 38 minutes, including building as much as a 16-point lead in the second half.
TCU (15-5, 4-4 Big 12) led for the first 24 seconds of the game on a basket by junior Emanuel Miller before K-State scored the next 8 points to take the lead for good even before the first media timeout. The Wildcats twice built 10-point leads in the opening half before taking a 35-28 lead into halftime.
The Horned Frogs came out on fire to start the second half, closing the deficit to 39-37 and forcing a timeout by head coach Bruce Weber with just under 17 minutes to play. However, a 3-pointer by fifth-year senior Mike McGuirl out of the timeout provided the spark that the Wildcats would need, as they scored 23 of the next 32 points, including a devastating 15-2 run that included contributions from 5 different players, to take a commanding 62-46 lead with just under 7 minutes to play.
TCU got to within 68-61 with 1:21 remaining, but K-State closed it out by making 7 of 10 free throws.
Pack collected his second consecutive 20-point game with a remarkably efficient night, hitting on 7-of-10 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and a 3-of-4 effort from the free throw line. He also added a game-high 4 steals to go with 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 37 minutes.
Pack was joined in double figures by fifth-year senior Mark Smith, who collected his sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, as well as junior Markquis Nowell and McGuirl, who added 14 and 13 points, respectively. Nowell dished out a game-high 6 assists to eclipse 100 for the season to go with 6 rebounds, while McGuirl tallied 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in his 34 minutes.
K-State moved to 5-0 this season when McGuirl scores in double figures. McGuirl started his second straight Big 12 games for injured sophomore Selton Miguel, who has been out with an ankle injury the last 3 games.
TCU had its own injury issues, as the Horned Frogs played without its leading scorer Mike Miles, Jr. (15.4 ppg.), who has a wrist injury.
Junior Damion Baugh led 3 players in double figures with 17 points on 6-of-14 field goals, including 3-of-8 from 3-point range. Junior Francisco Farabello, starting in place of the injured Miles, posted 14 points, a team-high 4 assists and 3 rebounds, while Miller had a near double-double with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting with a team-high 8 rebounds.
With the win, K-State splits the season series with TCU after the Horned Frogs rallied for a 60-57 win at Bramlage Coliseum on January 12. The Wildcats have now won 5 of the last 7 games played at Schollmaier Arena.
K-State was strong to start the game, jumping out to an 8-2 lead with 3 different Wildcats scoring in the stretch, including a pair of buckets from fifth-year senior Mark Smith. After 5 quick points from the Horned Frogs, the Wildcats answered by scoring 10 of the next 13 points, capped by a 3-point play by junior Carlton Linguard, Jr., to take an 18-10 lead at the 13:29 mark.
K-State twice built the lead to double figures at 26-16 to force the first timeout by TCU head coach Jamie Dixon at the 7:33 mark followed by a second timeout at the 4:09 mark with the Wildcats leading 30-20. The Horned Frogs closed to within 33-28 with 23 seconds left on back-to-back 3-pointers by Francisco Farabello and free throws by Damion Baugh but Smith hit a pair of free throws to give the Wildcats a 35-28 advantage at the break.
TCU came out on fire out of halftime, scoring 8 of the first 12 points to close to within 39-37 and force head coach Bruce Weber to call a timeout less than 3 minutes into the second half. However, K-State responded out of the timeout with an equally strong effort, using an 11-2 run to force Dixon to call yet another timeout with the Wildcats leading 50-39 at the 12:06 mark. Senior Mike McGuirl, sophomore Ish Massoud and sophomore Nijel Pack all had 3-pointers in the stretch. The run continued out of the timeout, as Linguard and junior Markquis Nowell increased the run to 15-2 with a pair of baskets for a 54-39 advantage.
The lead grew to as many as 16 (62-46) after Pack converted on a pair of free throws after a technical was assessed on the TCU bench with less than 7 minutes to play.
The Horned Frogs got to within 68-61 on a free throw by Charles O’Bannon with 1:21 remaining, but the Wildcats made 7 of 10 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory, 75-63.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Sophomore Nijel Pack collected his fifth 20-point outing of the season with game-high 20 points on 7-of-10 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, to go with a game-high 4 steals, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 37 minutes.
Fifth-year senior Mark Smith grabbed his team-leading sixth double-double of the season with 16 points on 5-of-12 field goals and a 6-of-8 effort from the free throws to go with 10 rebounds in 33 minutes.
Junior Markquis Nowell enjoyed a solid line, dishing out a game-high 6 assists to go with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals in 37 minutes. It was his 14th double-digit scoring game.
STAT OF THE GAME
5-0 – K-State is now 5-0 this season when Mike McGuirl scores in double figures, as the fifth-year senior scored 13 points in his second straight Big 12 start to go with 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 34 minutes.
IN THEIR WORDS
K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the game…
“Just happy for our guys. Again, we’ve talked about just playing with passion. We knew they would come out strong without (Mike) Miles, but we took it to them. I thought the start of the game we were pretty good. The start of the second half, just like the game at home, they took it to us, but we never surrendered the lead. Mike McGuirl hit the big long three when they kind of lost him to get it to five then we had the big run. We did a good job, a better job this time of looking down the court and getting it over their press and then just finishing the game. Great balance. 20, 16, 14, 13 a lot of people contributed. Carlton (Linguard) comes in and does a nice job. Ish (Massoud) hits a big shot when we’re kind of struggling. Just one game at a time and keep moving up the stairs. They’re playing with good passion, and they’re focused, and I hope we can continue that.”
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- K-State won back-to-back games to move to 12-10 overall and 4-6 in Big 12 play.
- K-State earned its second double-digit win in Big 12 play and first since a 62-51 win over No. 19/19 Texas Tech on Jan. 15 after having 6 of its first 9 conference games decided by 3 points or less.
- With the win, K-State splits the season series with TCU after the Horned Frogs posted a 60-57 win in Manhattan on Jan. 12… It marked the second straight season that each team won on the others’ homecourt… The Wildcats have now won 5 of the last 7 games at Schollmaier Arena… K-State now leads the all-time series, 20-10, including 8-3 in games played in Fort Worth.
- Ten of K-State’s 12 wins have come when leading at the half, as the Wildcats improved to 10-3.
- K-State is now 12-3 this season when holding its opponent below 70 points… In contrast, the Wildcats are 0-7 when allowing its opponent to score 70 or more points.
- K-State won for the first time this season when being out-rebounded (0-8), as TCU held a narrow 36-33 advantage on the glass… 10 of the Wildcats’ 33 rebounds came on the offensive end, resulting in 12 second-chance points… The team is 9-2 when out-scoring its opponent in second-chance points.
- K-State out-scored TCU, 32-30, in the paint and is now 9-3 when holding an advantage in the paint.
- K-State had 4 players scored in double figures for the just 5th time in 22 games this season.
- Sophomore Nijel Pack scored a game-high 20 points on 7-of-10 field goals, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and a 3-of-4 effort from the free throw line to go with a game-high 4 steals, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 37 minutes… He has now led in scoring 13 of 20 games played… It was his eighth career 20-point game, including team-leading fifth this season… He has now scored in double figures in 35 of 44 career games, including 19 of 20 this season.
- Pack has hit on 3 or more 3-pointers in 12 games… He is the Big 12 co-leader in 3-pointers (66).
- Fifth-year senior Mark Smith registered his team-leading sixth double-double with 16 points on 5-of-12 field goals and 6-of-8 free throws to go with a game-high 10 rebounds and 1 assist in 33 minutes… It was his seventh career double-double in his college career… He has led the team in rebounding in 14 of 21 games this season… He has now scored in double figures in 54 career games, including 14 this season.
- Junior Markquis Nowell scored 14 points on 5-of-15 field goals to go with a game-high 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals in 37 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 61 career college games, including 14 this season… He has now led the team in assists in 14 of 20 games played.
- Nowell eclipsed 100 assists this season and now has the second-most (103) in the Big 12.
- Fifth-year senior Mike McGuirl scored 13 points on 4-of-10 field goals, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, and 2-of-2 free throws to go with 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 34 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 35 career games, including 5 this season.
- K-State used a starting lineup of junior Markquis Nowell, sophomore Nijel Pack, senior Mike McGuirl, fifth-year senior Mark Smith and sophomore Davion Bradford… This marked the second time using this lineup and the 10th different lineup this season… Smith is the only Wildcat to start all 22 games… McGuirl earned his 8th start of the season and his 2nd in Big 12 play… It was his 59th start in his career.
- Sophomore Selton Miguel missed his fourth game of the season (third in a row) after sustaining an ankle injury in the second half of the game at No. 4/4 Baylor on Jan. 25.
- K-State has only had all 10 available scholarship players available in just 3 games this season.
K-State begins a brutal stretch of 3 games in 6 days on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats welcome the defending national champion and No. 8/8 Baylor Bears (19-4, 7-3 Big 12) to Bramlage Coliseum at 7 p.m., CT on Big 12 Now. The Bears have won the last 6 meetings, including the first matchup, 74-49, in Waco on Jan. 25.