KSU holds off TCU
By ARNE GREEN
By ARNE GREEN
Special to The Telegram
MANHATTAN - The Kansas State Wildcats broke out of their slumber just in time.
After fumbling around with Texas Christian for a half hour, the Wildcats turned it on in the final 10 minutes by attacking the Horned Frogs' zone inside Wednesday night and pulled away for a 65-53 victory at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State, which improved to 18-8 overall, 8-5 in the Big 12, also clamped down defensively on TCU guard Kyan Anderson, who had 17 of his game-high 23 points in the first half. Thomas Gipson scored 16 points and Marcus Foster 13 to lead a balanced Wildcat attack that also included 11 points from Nino Williams and 10 from Will Spradling.
The Wildcats never trailed in the second half, but needed a 15-2 run to break it open after Karvar Shepherd's offensive rebound basket tied it at 42 with 12:52 left. Spradling started it with a 3-pointer, followed by a Williams stick-back and D.J. Johnson free throw. After Shepherd's basket broke the TCU drought, the Wildcats reeled off nine more to lead 57-44 on Gipson's two free throws at the 7:20 mark.
K-State, which travels to Oklahoma on Saturday, shot 43 percent from the field and hit four 3-pointers in the second half. The Wildcats outrebounded TCU, 47-24, with Gipson grabbing 11 and Johnson eight. Foster dished out six assists.
Anderson was joined in double figures by Shepherd with 12 points for TCU, but nobody else had more than seven. Amric Fields led the Horned Frogs on the boards with six rebounds.
K-State squandered an early nine-point lead and turned the ball over 13 times in the first half but still led 27-26 at the break.
The Wildcats hit their first four shots and led 13-4 on Spradling's basket with 14:50 left in the half. But they didn't get another bucket until Omari Lawrence drove the lane at the 7:34 mark, making it 16-12.
TCU went nearly five minutes without a basket, but got within two on a personal six-point run by Anderson, who made a free throw, knocked down a 3-pointer and converted a runner, all within a minute, 12 seconds.
Anderson had 17 first-half points, including a driving layup that cut it to one before intermission. Foster scored 10 points and Gipson eight with eight rebounds to lead K-State at the break.
Next up for the Wildcats is a 3 p.m. Saturday road game at Oklahoma where they will face former coach and player Lon Kruger and the Sooners.