K-State suffers first conference loss against a stout TCU defense 

Forward Nae'Qwan Tomlin gets ready to get the rebound after a free throw during the game against Abilene Christian on Dec. 6. (Archive image by Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State falls to 14-2 (4-1) against TCU in an 82-68 loss, suffering their first conference loss of the season.

Both K-State and TCU came into this matchup ranking amongst the top of the Big 12 in scoring, and a fast-paced beginning reflected that. TCU leads the league in fast break points with over 21.38 points per game.

Scoring heavily favored TCU in the first half as they capitalized early off of K-State offensive turnovers, going on a 10-0 run in the first few minutes of play. TCU recorded over 43 points in the first half with 36 of those points scored in the paint and 16 off of Wildcat turnovers. TCU looked comfortable running their high-flying fast-paced offense while K-State struggled to get any offensive rhythm going.

K-State’s largest issue in the first half was turnovers. They committed 12 turnovers with bad passing and unusually quiet play from guard Markquis Nowell. The Wildcats struggled to get to the foul line, shooting zero free throws in the entire half while committing six personal fouls.

Interior defense was a struggle for K-State as well. TCU center Eddie Lampkin Jr. led scoring for the Horned Frogs with 13 points in the first half. 

The second half was much of the same, with TCU running the court. The physical style of play for TCU proved a mismatch for the Wildcats.

Nowell had by far his worst performance of the season for the Wildcats, cooling off of his record-breaking three-game stretch with 14 points, four assists, two rebounds and six turnovers. He regained a bit of confidence in the waning five minutes of play to get some rhythm back, scoring 12 of his 14 points.

The Big 12’s second-leading scorer Mike Miles Jr. recorded a double-double on the day for TCU with 13 points, 11 assists and five rebounds.

K-State began to regain some momentum in under five minutes — getting back into range of 15 points from a 26-point deficit — but simply ran out of time. The momentum shift marks a good sign for K-State to bounce back into the next matchup.

While a tough loss for K-State, the Wildcats will look to their next opponent in a highly anticipated matchup against Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Bramlage Coliseum.