Courtesy of K-State Athletics
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Nijel Pack and Mike McGuirl combined for 40 points, and K-State used a big second half to pull away for a 71-50 win over TCU in Wednesday’s opening game of the Big 12 Tournament.
The Cats improved to 9-19 on the year with the victory. TCU slipped to 12-14.
K-State went on a pair of key runs in the first half. The Cats used an early 13-2 run to take a 15-5 lead. After TCU responded to tie things up, K-State used a late 10-0 burst to take a 29-23 lead at the break.
The Cats pulled away in the second half. Defensively, K-State forced eight turnovers and limited TCU to 10-of-28 shooting in the final 20 minutes. A 16-0 run helped K-State extend their lead to as many as 27.
Pack was sensational in his Big 12 Tournament debut. The freshman finished with 23 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He hit five of his six attempts from behind the arc and added six rebounds and five assists on the night. McGuirl added 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting. The senior added five assists. The Cats shot just under 50 percent on the night and forced 17 TCU turnovers in the win.
RJ Nembhard scored 11 points to lead TCU. Nobody else reached double figures for the Horned Frogs, who went just 20-of-54 from the field overall and 4-of-19 from long range.
K-State advances to face top-seed Baylor (21-1, 13-1 Big 12) in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 1:30 p.m., CT.