Courtesy of K-State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Junior Damion Baugh’s 3-point field goal with 11 seconds put the exclamation point on TCU’s 8-0 run to end the game, as the Horned Frogs kept Kansas State winless in Big 12 play with a 60-57 come-from-behind victory on Wednesday night before 5,623 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
Trailing 57-52 after junior Markquis Nowell’s layup with 1:48 to play, TCU (11-2, 1-1 Big 12) put together an improbable comeback to earn its third straight victory at Bramlage Coliseum. Baugh started the run by making his second of 2 free throws with 1:11 to play. Junior Emanuel Miller corralled an offensive rebound off a 3-point miss by sophomore Mike Miles, Jr., and scored on a layup to close the gap to 57-55 with 24 seconds.
After timeouts by both teams, sophomore Nijel Pack was whistled for a travel as he received the in-bound pass with 18 seconds, allowing the Horned Frogs to setup Baugh’s game-winning 3-pointer that came off an assist from Miles for a 58-57 lead with 11 seconds to play. K-State had one more chance, but sophomore Davion Bradford could not connect on a layup and Miles was able secure the rebounds before being fouled with 1.4 seconds.
Miles, who led all scorers with 19 points, knocked down both free throw attempts to finish off the 60-57 victory. Baugh was the only other Horned Frog in double figures, finishing with 12 points on 4-of-9 field goals, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Miller led all players with 10 rebounds.
The loss was the fourth in a row for K-State (8-7, 0-4 Big 12) to start Big 12 play, as the Wildcats dropped their third straight game when leading in the second half. The team has lost 4 games by 3 points or less, while 6 of the 7 losses this season have come by a grand total of 25 points.
The loss overshadowed a stellar performance by Nowell, who led three Wildcats in double figures with 18 points on 7-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, to go with a career-high 7 steals, 4 assists and 3 rebounds in 34 minutes. His 7 steals tied for the most by a Wildcat in a conference game and were the most since LaKeith Humphrey had 7 against Nebraska on February 11, 1989. Overall, Nowell’s 7 steals tied for the third-most in all games and were the most since Dominique Sutton had 8 vs. Idaho State on January 3, 2009.
Pack and fifth-year senior Mark Smith each chipped in 10 points, as Smith had a near double-double with a team-high 9 rebounds. Sophomores Davion Bradford and Selton Miguel had 6 points each.
K-State connected on 39.2 percent (20-of-51) from the field, including 30 percent (6-of-20) from 3-point range, and made just 11 of 22 attempts at the free throw line. TCU was slightly better at 39.6 percent (21-of-53), while also connecting on 30 percent (6-of-20) from long range.
K-State had a near full complement of players for the first time since the start of Big 12 play, as the Wildcats missed just senior Mike McGuirl, who was out due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
In addition, head coach Bruce Weber returned to the sideline for the first time since the Big 12 opener at Oklahoma on New Year’s Day, as he missed the last 2 games due to health and safety protocols.
Neither team could find an offensive rhythm early, as they traded the lead on minimal runs in the first half.
K-State took an 18-14 lead after a 6-2 run broke a 12-all tie that forced a TCU timeout at the 7:32 mark. However, the Horned Frogs returned the favor with a 9-0 run that gave them a 23-18 advantage at the final media timeout with 3:58 to play before halftime. The Wildcats rallied to again tie it at 23-all on 4 straight points by junior Kaosi Ezeagu with 2:36 left, however, they couldn’t convert from opportunities at the free throw line, as a free throw by senior Charles O’Bannon, Jr., and a layup by sophomore Mike Miles, Jr. gave the Frogs a 26-25 lead at the break.
TCU opened the second half on fire, as junior Damion Baugh and Miles connected on 3-pointers on back-to-back possession. After Nowell answered with his own triple to close the gap to 32-30, the Horned Frogs rattled off 8 straight points to take their first double-digit lead at 40-30 with 16:00 to play.
Sophomore Nijel Pack, who went 1-of-6 from the field in the first half, finally was able to connect on a 3-pointer that started a 16-2 run that first tied the game at 42-all then allowed the Wildcats to take a 46-42 lead with 9:47 to play. During the run, Pack and junior Markquis Nowell combined for 13 of the 16 points.
After TCU rallied to tie it at 46-all, K-State scored 9 of the next 14 points, capped by a 3-pointer by Nowell, to take a 55-51 lead at the 4:10 mark. Nowell added a layup that gave the Wildcats a 57-52 lead with 1:48 remaining before the final sequence.
The Horned Frogs scored the last 8 points of the game, which was punctuated by junior Damion Baugh’s game-winning 3-pointer with 11 seconds to play for the 60-57 victory.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Junior Markquis Nowell turned in an impressive night with a team-high 18 points on 7-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, to go with a career-high 7 steals, 4 assists and 3 rebounds in 34 minutes.
Senior Mark Smith nearly collected another double-double with 10 points and a team-high 9 rebounds.
STAT OF THE GAME
8-0 – TCU ended the game on an 8-0 run, flipping an 57-52 deficit with 1:48 to play into 60-57 victory. Junior Damion Baugh hit the game-deciding 3-pointer with 11 seconds to play.
IN THEIR WORDS
K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the game…
“There’s not much I can say, we obviously have had a tough 10 days. I credit our guys for hanging in there and really trying to do what we asked. Every game we’ve had that one stretch where we break down offensively and defensively. It happened again today at the start of the second half, and they got the 10-point lead and I just talked to the team in a huddle about, this is what we’ve been talking about, are you going to have the mental toughness and stay together? Let’s stop this run and we did it almost immediately. We hung together and we had a chance, obviously we had the game in hand. You just gotta make one play down the stretch, whether it’s a free throw or good decision or a defensive stop, a rebound. I don’t know, we let Nijel (Pack) take it out the first time. Then we said we’ve got to get it to him, he’s our best cutter. Right before they went out, I said I’d rather have a 10-second count, where then we can guard them up straight, and if we get stuck and we had the jump ball and obviously you wish you had another timeout. Credit to TCU, they made some big plays down the stretch. I just feel for our guys because they really care. They try, they’ve been through a lot, and we had our chances, but you’ve got to learn how to win and we didn’t. We didn’t know how to win today.”