TCU beats Kansas State 69-55 for its 1st Big 12 win streak
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) TCU started the season with 13 consecutive non-conference wins. Now the Horned Frogs finally have their first winning streak in the Big 12.
Chris Washburn scored 17 points and TCU beat Kansas State 69-55 on Wednesday night, giving the Frogs consecutive Big 12 victories for the first time since joining the league.
”We’re growing up, we’re maturing … I think the question was asked about learning how to win. You’ve got to go through it,” coach Trent Johnson said. ”There was a stretch there when they made their run. We weren’t playing really well, but we sustained our confidence, and that enabled us to get out of that.”
TCU (16-10, 3-10 Big 12) never trailed in the game, building a 20-point halftime lead and holding on when K-State cut the gap to six points just more than eight minutes into the second half.
This is the third Big 12 season for the Horned Frogs, who went 0-18 in league play a season ago after a 2-16 debut in 2013. They were coming off a 70-55 home win over No. 22 Oklahoma State four days earlier.
Kansas State (13-14, 6-8) scored 11 consecutive points in less than two minutes early in the second half. The Wildcats were within 41-35 when Nino Williams made a free throw after a technical foul against TCU with 11:52 left.
But K-State then went scoreless for nearly 4 1/2 minutes, and was still down 14 when Tre Harris hit a 3-pointer with 7:29 left to end the drought.
”We just ran out of gas,” coach Bruce Weber said.
TCU had a 10-0 run in that span, which started when Brandon Parrish drove for a layup high off the glass. Washburn had a thunderous dunk while being fouled, plus a free throw, to make it 50-35 with just over 8 minutes left.
Karviar Shepherd added 12 points for TCU, while Kenrich Williams had 11 and Amric Fields 10.
Nino Williams had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats, who were coming off a win over No. 17 Oklahoma after a five-game losing streak. Harris had 14 points and Thomas Gipson 12.
”I told our guys both of us came off good wins on Saturday, and who had the maturity and determination to come and play hard, would be the one that would come out with another win,” Weber said.
Johnson’s pregame message was for his players was to build off how they finished against Oklahoma State, when they had a pair of 10-0 runs after halftime to win.
”That’s probably as good a first half of basketball as we played all year,” Johnson said afterward. ”We knew they were going to make a run at us. We kept our poise.”
TCU had a 35-15 halftime lead that was bolstered by a 19-0 run over the final 7 1/2 minutes before the break.
Gipson made two free throws to get the Wildcats within 16-15 with 7:48 left in the first half, nearly two minutes after their last field goal of the half. But the Wildcats didn’t score again before the break, and six different TCU players scored in the big run – with only Shepherd making multiple field goals in that stretch.
Shepherd has consecutive double-figure scoring games for TCU after none in 16 games since Dec. 4. The Horned Frogs have shot over 50 percent in consecutive games after missing 87 shots in the two games before that.
The 15 points in the first half weren’t even the lowest this season by Kansas State. The Wildcats had had 12 at halftime in a 50-46 loss to Georgia on Dec. 31. Against TCU, they shot only 16 percent (4 for 25) from the field while the Frogs made 14 of 22 shots (64 percent).
Kansas St.: The Wildcats are 1-8 in road games.
TCU: Shepherd and Washburn each had eight rebounds. … The technical foul was against Trey Zeigler after he pushed away a dead ball that hit a K-State player.
Kansas State plays at No. 20 Baylor on Saturday.
TCU is at No. 8 Kansas on Saturday.