K-State to take on struggling TCU

Emily DeShazer | The Collegian Marcus Foster, freshman guard, encourages the crowd to cheer as Naadir Tharpe, junior guard, brings the ball down the court in Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 11.

It is tough to beat the K-State Wildcats at home this season. In fact, only one team has come into Bramlage Coliseum and walked away with a win this season. That was Northern Colorado in the Wildcats’ first game of the season. On Wednesday night in Bramlage Coliseum, the Wildcats (17-8, 7-5 Big 12) will play host to the struggling TCU Horned Frogs (9-15, 0-12 Big 12).

The Wildcats are one of two Big 12 teams that have not lost on their home court in conference play. A big reason for that has been the Wildcats’ stifling defense. In the six conference games that the Wildcats have played at Bramlage Coliseum this season, K-State is holding their opponents to an average of 35.8 percent shooting from the field.

On the offensive end, freshman guard Marcus Foster has found a way to elevate his game in front of the purple clad fans. The freshman averages 15.1 points per game this season. At home during Big 12 play, Foster is averaging nearly 18 points per contest. In the last two home games, Foster has scored 54 points and is 9-13 from behind the arc.

K-State enters Wednesday’s matchup coming off of a double overtime loss to the hands of Baylor. The Wildcats appeared to finally have gotten over the hump on the road, but after Baylor tied it up with a buzzer beater at the end of regulation, the Wildcats just couldn’t catch a break.

“The mood is good,” junior forward Nino Williams said. “We just know that it was a tough loss. We could have made plays down the stretch to win.”

It has been a different story for the Wildcats on the road as opposed to at home this season. K-State was without senior forward Shane Southwell for the Baylor game, making the Wildcats an even smaller team physically. Height is not something the the Wildcats can afford to sacrifice.

The Horned Frogs enter Wednesday’s matchup having not won a Big 12 road game since they’ve entered the conference. Last year was TCU’s first season as members of Big 12, they have only won two conference games since.

“We just have to come out and play hard,” junior forward Thomas Gipson said. “Get (TCU) out early and execute and just be good on defense.”

TCU has struggled this season, but that does not mean that they are without talent. Leading the way for the Horned Frogs is junior guard Kyan Anderson who leads TCU, averaging nearly 17 points per game. Last season in Bramlage Coliseum, Anderson finished with 29 points. In the first meetings this season, the junior struggled, finishing with 12 points.

With the lack of size that the Wildcats present, TCU could lean heavily on the play of junior forward Amric Fields. The 6-foot-9-inch 220 pound junior is second on the team in both points and rebound this season. Earlier this season, Fields led the Horned Frogs with 14 points against the Wildcats.

The Wildcats sit just above the middle of the Big 12 pack while TCU sit at the very bottom. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.