Men’s basketball wins first game of 2021, snaps 13-game losing streak

Freshman guard Selton Miguel drives to the basket against TCU's Kevin Samuel in K-State's 62-54 victory over the Horned Frogs on Saturday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Sharon Ellman)

The Kansas State men’s basketball team did it: they won a game in 2021 and broke their school-record 13-game losing streak that started on Jan. 2.

It was a close-knit game the entire way, and both teams played well defensively in the first half – resulting in a tie of 29 at halftime. The Wildcats were ultimately able to pull away late in the game, winning 62-54.

The Wildcats finished shooting 40 percent from the field 35 percent from the three-point range. They held TCU to only 32 percent from the field and 22 percent from beyond the arc.

“I’m just thrilled for our guys,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “It was a team win. I’m happy for them and I’m proud of them.”

Senior Mike McGuirl finished the game leading in points for the Wildcats with 16 points and shooting 43 percent from the field.

“This was a great win,” McGuirl said. “It felt great in all aspects and I’m really happy for everybody who stayed with us. Coaches, fans, everybody. We know that this is just one game but this is a step up and this program is going in the right direction.”

McGuirl is currently averaging 11.2 points-per-game and 3.5 assists-per-game, both second on the team, and averages one steal-per-game which is third on the team.

“It’s exciting to finally get a win,” McGuirl said. “It’s been a long, tough journey but my coaches — they never stopped believing in us, and my teammates never stopped fighting, so it felt really good to get this one.”

True Freshman Nijel Pack followed McGuirl in scoring with 12 points on the game with five assists and a shot late in the game to put TCU away.

“He had forced the issue a little bit,” Weber said. “I grabbed him and said the next time you come off that, if he’s sitting back, you have to jump up and shoot it and play with confidence.”

Pack currently leads the team in points-per-game (12.3), assists-per-game (3.6) and steals-per-game (1.3).

McGuirl also gave praise to the freshman from Luanda, Angola, Selton Miguel for his defensive help in the win.

“I can’t begin to express how big Selton was on defense tonight,” McGuirl said. “That was elite defense that he played tonight on a good player so consistently, staying the course and consistently making the next play on both sides of the ball helped us win the game.”

Miguel is fourth on the team in both points-per-game (7.2), and steals-per-game (0.7) and is third on the team in assists-per-game (2.1).

“Just staying strong on defensive ball screens,” Miguel said. “Just staying in the right spots to help the defense especially in transition.”

The men’s basketball team will return home next Tuesday for senior night for the lone senior on the roster, McGuirl, against Oklahoma.

Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPNU.