3-Point Barrage Carries TCU Past K-State, 68-57

Courtesy of K-State Athletics

FORT WORTH, Texas – TCU tied an opponent school-record high with 15 made 3-point field goals, including 5 from senior Desmond Bane, as the Horned Frogs snapped a 7-game losing streak with a 68-57 win over Kansas State on Saturday afternoon before 6,288 fans at Schollmaier Arena.

The 15 triples by the Horned Frogs (14-11, 5-7 Big 12) were the most allowed by a Wildcat team in more 15 years, tying the mark set originally by Missouri on Feb. 28, 1998 and tied by Saint Louis on Jan. 3, 2004. In all, five players connected on at least one 3-pointer, including a combined 9 by Bane (5) and graduate student Jaire Grayer (4).

Despite record amount of 3-pointers, K-State (9-16, 2-10 Big 12) still had an opportunity to snap its losing streak, as the Wildcats led 50-48 after senior Xavier Sneed’s third consecutive field goal that forced TCU head coach Jamie Dixon to call a timeout with 8:09 to play. The Sneed jumper capped a 10-2 run by the Wildcats after they trailed 46-40 at the 11:20 mark after a Bane 3-pointer.

The two teams traded baskets out of the timeout, including a fourth straight by Sneed, but the momentum shifted on the next possession, as yet another Bane 3-pointer ignited a 15-1 run by the Horned Frogs over the next 5:12 that propelled them to a 66-53 advantage with 1:18 to play.

Both teams connected on 23 made field goals in the contest, but TCU’s 15 made 3-pointers proved to be difference, as K-State made just 2 of 12 attempts from long range. For the game, the Horned Frogs connected on 44.2 percent (23-of-52) from the field, including 45.5 percent (15-of-33) from 3-point range, while the Wildcats hit on 42.6 percent (23-of-54) of their field goals, including 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from long range.

Bane led three TCU players in double figures with a game-high 17 points on 6-of-14 field goals, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range, to go with a game-high 8 assists, 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, while Grayer and sophomore R.J. Nembhard added 15 points each.

Sneed paced the Wildcats with 15 points on 6-of-12 field goals, while juniors David Sloan and Cartier Diarra added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Senior Makol Mawien grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds.

With the win, the Horned Frogs swept the season series for the first time in the Big 12 era after the Wildcats swept 4 of the first 7 regular-season series between the teams.

K-State’s current 5-game losing streak ties for the longest of the Bruce Weber era (Jan. 27 to Feb. 11, 2015).

HOW IT HAPPENED

K-State was hampered by another slow start, as TCU jumped out to a 9-2 lead, including 7 straight points, which forced head coach Bruce Weber to call his first timeout at the 15:00 mark. Led by senior Desmond Bane’s 5 points, the Horned Frogs connected on 4 of first 8 field goals, while the Wildcats hit on just 1 of their first 6 shots.

The Wildcats closed to within 15-12 on a jumper by senior Makol Mawien nearly midway point of the first half, but freshman Francisco Farabello nailed the Horned Frogs’ fourth 3-pointer to push it back out to 18-12 near the third media timeout. A sixth triple by the Frogs and the third by Grayer made it 24-14 at the 5:29 mark.

Jumpers by Mawien and senior Xavier Sneed ignited a 13-0 run by K-State over a 4-minute stretch that forced head coach Jaime Dixon to call his second timeout with the Wildcats ahead 27-24 with 1:23 to play. Four different players contributed in the 13-0 run, including 5 points from junior David Sloan, who gave the team their first lead at 25-24 on a jumper at the 2:14 mark.

The timeout allowed Dixon to get starters Bane and sophomore Kevin Samuel back in the game, as a dunk by Samuel ended the drought and closed the Frogs to within 27-26, which was where it stood at halftime.

TCU hit on a slightly better field goal percentage (41.7/10-of-24) in the first half with 6 of its 10 field goals coming from long range, including 3 from Grayer, who led both teams with 9 points at the break. K-State rebounded from its poor start to hit on 40 percent (12-of-30) from the break. Sloan led the Wildcats with 7 points on 3-of-6 shooting, while Diarra had 6 points off the bench.

The second half started much like the first half with TCU scoring 5 quick points, including a 3-pointer by sophomore R.J. Nembhard from the corner, to give the Frogs a 31-27 lead just over a minute into the half. K-State responded with a 5-0 run to take a 32-31 on the second of back-to-back jumpers by Diarra, but Nembhard connected on his second triple in the half to help TCU regain the lead at 34-32 at the first media timeout of the half.

The teams exchanged 3-pointers over the next few possessions before a dunk by Nembhard and a third triple by Bane gave the Frogs a 46-40 lead and force Weber to call a timeout at the 11:15 mark.

The timeout worked for K-State, as the team scored 8 consecutive points to take a 48-46 advantage on the second of back-to-back jumpers by Sneed with 9:10 remaining. After a Grayer jumper, Sneed connected on a third straight field goal to give the Wildcats another lead at 50-48 and forced Dixon to take a timeout with 8:09 to play.

The timeout worked for TCU, as the Horned Frogs erupted for a 13-2 run over the next 4:44, which included a stretch of 10 consecutive points and 3-pointers by Bane and Grayer, to take a 61-52 advantage into the final media timeout with 3:26 remaining. A free throw by freshman Antonio Gordon out of the timeout ended the 10-0 run, but TCU scored 7 of the last 11 points to finish off the 68-57 win.

The Horned Frogs connected on 46.4 percent (13-of-28) from the field in the second half, including 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from 3-point range, while the Wildcats hit on 45.8 percent (11-of-24) after halftime, but just 28.6 percent (2-of-7) from long range.

Nembhard led all scorers in the second half with 13 points on 4-of-7 field goals, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, while Bane added 12 points on 4-of-9 field goals with all 4 coming from long range. Sneed paced the Wildcats with 11 points after halftime on 4-of-7 shooting.  

WHAT’S NEXT

K-State returns to action on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats conclude their 2-game road swing with a trip to Lubbock, Texas to take on No. 24/24 Texas Tech (16-9, 7-5 Big 12) at 8 p.m., CT on ESPN2. The Red Raiders won the first meeting, 77-63, at Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 14.