K-State begins two-game stretch in Lone Star State against TCU

Then-freshman guard Marcus Foster nails a three-pointer in the first half of K-State's 65-53 victory over the Horned Frogs Feb. 19, 2014 in Bramlage Coliseum.

Head coach Bruce Weber and his K-State men’s basketball team have been all but dead several times this season. Most recently was last week, as the Wildcats stared down a possible six-game losing streak with a star player coming off suspension.

K-State, however, has continued to fight. Saturday, the Wildcats punched back and upset No. 17 Oklahoma 59-56 on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Marcus Foster with seconds to play.

“Well, I hope it’s a nice jump-start to the finish here,” Weber said Monday during the weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference. “We just talked about it as a seven-game season going into that Oklahoma game. We are going to have to make the most of the opportunities. The bad part of the league is that we play a lot of top-20 teams or top-10 teams. The good part of the league is that we play a lot of top-20 teams and top-10 teams that give you opportunities to do something special. When we beat Oklahoma at home, we just beat one of the best teams in the country, so it’s positive.”

K-State (13-13, 6-7) now has their attention on a two-game stint in the state of Texas, beginning with a stop in Fort Worth, Texas to take on TCU (15-10, 2-10) tonight.

The Wildcats and Horned Frogs met more than a month ago in Manhattan with the home team winning 58-53. K-State benefited from a 23-point performance from Foster and holding TCU senior guard Kyan Anderson to just eight points.

Fans of the Horned Frogs have taken their annual basketball lumps this season, losing six conference games by less than 12 points including two overtime games. However, Saturday TCU fans were able to celebrate a 15-point upset victory over No. 21 Oklahoma St., 70-55.

Securing back-to-back conference wins has not been easy for TCU, though. In fact, the Horned Frogs haven’t won back-to-back conference games since February 2012 against Air Force and New Mexico as a part of the Mountain West Conference.

“It depends how we come off of Saturday,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said of the Oklahoma State win. “Last time, we won a league game we didn’t do very well. It is what it is and we’re on to the next game.”

Johnson is referring to TCU’s 18-point drubbing to Texas just two days after cruising to a 20-point victory over Texas Tech.

Regardless of TCU’s struggles, Weber said his team understands that every Big 12 contest is going to be a battle from tipoff to the final whistle.

“It’s not going to be easy, nothing has been easy,” Weber said. “We’ve been in every game. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. I thought at West Virginia, compared to the first time we played them, we just talked about everybody making 1 percent improvement and I thought we made more than that. We were there until the end and we took the lead, but we just didn’t make some plays … You can go on and on. I think our staff has done a good job and the players have done a good job staying positive and keep working.”

K-State and TCU tipoff at 7 p.m. from the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs have played all their home games at the activity center as their home venue is being renovated.