The last time K-State won on the road during conference play was over a year ago, and it took a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in overtime from former Wildcat Marcus Foster to beat the Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma.
After that, it took 13 tries and 13 failures for K-State to find a victory in another Big 12 venue. Late game heroics were not necessary on Tuesday, however, as the Wildcats found a way to break through on their 14th try, taking down TCU comfortably in Fort Worth, Texas, 63-49.
K-State, 15-11 overall and 4-9 in Big 12 play, was led by senior Justin Edwards, who had 17 points to go along with a full stat line of four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and three steals.
The Wildcats had lost two straight to the Horned Frogs coming into Tuesday night and were riding a two-game slide after a loss to Baylor and an overtime loss on Saturday to Oklahoma State.
K-State came out scorching to start the game, jumping out to three different 8-0 runs. Freshman guard Barry Brown led the way for the Cats, scoring 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the first half, including shooting a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc.
“I think I was pretty comfortable,” Brown said in a radio interview following the win. “The whole team was pretty comfortable.”
Brown had a good night, putting up 16 points on 6-9 shooting, including hitting 4-6 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats led 24-11 at the 10-minute mark, but their scoring slowed down and they closed out the half with only 11 points to show for their effort as they led the Horned Frogs 35-24.
The second half didn’t bring a lot of drama as K-State hovered around an 11-point lead up until the buzzer. At one point, however, TCU did cut the lead to nine, making it the first time the Frogs got K-State’s lead below double-digits since the very end of the first half.
The Wildcats didn’t wait long to respond though, as freshman Dean Wade, who had 14 points in a very strong second-half effort, nailed a 3-pointer to get the K-State lead back to above 10, a place that it would not dip below again.
“We talked about winning the first five minutes,” head coach Bruce Weber said in his postgame radio interview. “We also said, ‘They’re going to make a push, they’re at home and they’re going to make a push,’ and they did. People have to stand up and make shots or plays … when you make shots and share the ball and play as a team, a lot of good things happen.”
Soon after Wade’s bucket, K-State went on a 7-0 run to take a 17-point lead, and the Wildcats rode out the remainder of the game, clinching their first conference road win and only their second total road win of the season.
The Wildcats head back home on Saturday to play part two of the Sunflower Showdown against rival No. 2 Kansas.
“It’s a huge game Saturday,” Weber said in the radio interview. “It’s not going to be easy … hopefully the crowd will be energized and ready to go and help us in being a difference maker in the game.”