They came, they saw, they conquered the quarterfinals.
The Kansas State men’s basketball team beat the TCU Horned Frogs in overtime on Thursday, 66-64 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. They have now advanced to the semifinals and will play against Kansas in game six at 6 p.m.
Probably one of the most even matchups so far in the tournament, the K-State and TCU matchup was one that many were eager for. Right out from the gate, the lead went back and forth and was toggled between two and five points in the first half. In the second half, TCU was able to break that and extend their lead by nine, but it didn’t last for long. The score was tied for a total of 13 times and the lead changed 14 times.
The biggest stress of this game was looking at the history between these two teams this season. The first game was a nail-biter, the second was all right and the third was a minimal effort, medium concentration type of game.
The game was so even because both teams had their own problems. However K-State was just able to get a handle on theirs after the 12 minute mark in the second half.
K-State accelerated past TCU, finished shooting 25-56 from the field and 3-15 from the three-point line. TCU ended shooting 25-54 and 7-17 from the three-point line.
At the end of regulation, TCU’s Desmond Bane shot a three pointer to tie up the game, thus sending them into overtime tied up at 59. Bane later fouled out in overtime at the 3:14 mark.
K-State’s only foul trouble for the game was sophomore Makol Mawien, who fouled out with 1.3 seconds left in overtime. He finished the game with 16 points, three blocks, nine rebounds and one steal.
While K-State’s leading scorer was Mawien during this matchup, sophomore Xavier Sneed followed with 12 points, four rebounds and two steals. A total of four Wildcats were in double digits for this matchup.
TCU’s leading scorer ended up being Kenrich Williams with 20 points, two assists, three steals and ten rebounds. Alex Robinson followed closely with 16 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals.
At the end of the game, K-State finished with 32 points in the paint, four second chance opportunities, four fast breaks and ten bench points. TCU finished with 30 in the paint, 11 second chance opportunities, no fast breaks and six bench points.
In regards of Friday’s game against Kansas, head coach Bruce Weber said he had no preference of who to play before the completion of the Oklahoma State and Kansas game. Weber said all he could do was work on the mindset of the players.
“We came here to win the tournament and do something no one has seen in K-State history, and they have that mindset,” Weber said. “I would be surprised and disappointed if we didn’t have a great effort, make every shot, I don’t know. But, they will come and fight tomorrow night. I promise you that.”
Junior Barry Brown had the game-winning bucket for the Wildcats, where he had a successful layup at the 11 second mark in overtime. Brown talked about K-State’s stifling defense, as they have kept TCU under 80 points all three times they have played them.
“We have great team defense and some great individuals defenders,” Brown said. “We all take on that challenge to stop when they do. They do a lot of ball screen action and post-ups, and credit to our guys. … They have some wide open shots and stuff, but for the most part we were there in the bubble contesting. It paid off.”
TCU head coach Jamie Dixon talked about K-State and TCU’s defense and what he thought changed from the last time they met.
“We beat them by 10 the other day, so we shot a good percentage in that one,” Dixon said. “Really the turnovers, I guess. We shot 47 percent. That’s low for us, but not that low.”
K-State will make its sixth appearance in the Big 12 Championship semifinals Friday night against the Kansas Jayhawks. The game will tip at 6 p.m. inside the Sprint Center.