In a game that was tight from start to finish, TCU managed to pick up their first win in Manhattan since 1999. This game was a key road win to end the Frogs four-game losing skid and improves the team’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament.
The Frogs came out ready to play from the opening tip, especially senior Karviar Shepherd, who scored 8 of the first 10 points for TCU off the bench. Thanks to his efforts, the Frogs were able to get out to a 12-7 lead at the first media timeout. They continued to extend their lead by forcing turnovers on defense and knocking down a couple threes on offense. By the second media timeout, TCU found themselves up 20-9 on the Wildcats.
TCU managed to get ahead 29-15, but a 14-0 run by K-State tied the game at 29 with 4:32 to go in the first half. A layup by Alex Robinson put an end to their impressive run, but the Wildcats had already done what they needed to get back into it and gained some momentum. K-State pulled ahead a couple minutes later and took a 39-35 lead into the half.
Shepherd led the Frogs in scoring in the first half with his 8 points, all of which came in the first 5 minutes. However, it was a group effort on the offensive end as 8 of 9 players who saw action in the 1st half scored. However, it was turnovers that really ended the Frogs’ momentum; they had 10 in the 1st half. D.J. Johnson led the way for the Wildcats with 13 points and 2 blocks that fired his team up.
In the beginning of the 2nd half, neither team was able to pull away and take control of the game, but the Frogs managed to close the deficit to a point at the under-16 media timeout. The back-and-forth affair continued until the under-12 media timeout, but 5 straight points by Vlad had helped TCU take a 47-46 lead. However, a quick 6 points by the Wildcats gave them a 52-47 lead, forcing Dixon to call timeout.
The Frogs would battle their way back ad would trade the lead back-and-forth with K-State and the game was tied at 65 with 4 minutes to go in the game. The Wildcats took a 67-65 lead and then called timeout with the ball with just over 2 minutes remaining. They extended their lead to 70-65 out of the timeout, but a converted and-one by Fisher cut the lead to 2 before a monstrous put back dunk put the Wildcats up 72-68.
However, JD Miller, the star of the 2nd half, knocked down a shot but missed the and-one free throw. Karviar Shepherd came down with the board and was fouled but only made one, pulling the game to 72-71. Kenrich managed to grab yet another offensive rebound, but a travel by Miller gave the ball back to K-State with a minute to go. D.J. Johnson made the first of two free throws, but missed the second and TCU pulled it down and got the ball up the floor before taking their final timeout down 73-71 with 34 seconds left.
Vlad tied the game with 24.8 seconds to go and came down and blocked the go-ahead shot by Kansas State. The ball rolled around on the floor for a couple seconds before a jump ball was called, giving the Wildcats the ball with 0.9 seconds to go. However, Kamau Stokes missed the game-winning three barely and the game went into overtime.
After a pair of missed free throws by Wesley Iwundu, Kenrich opened the OT scoring with a three to give the Frogs a lead. TCU managed to extend their lead to 80-74, but a three by Xavier Sneed cut the Frogs’ lead in half. Kenrich answered right back though knocking down a three of his own and giving TCU an 83-77 lead. Iwundu cut the lead down to 83-79 on a fast break layup and made a free throw to make it 83-80. Robinson and Fisher helped put the game away at the line and the Frogs came away with the victory.
JD Miller led the way for the Frogs with 18 points and was 4/5 from beyond the arc. As a team, the Frogs shot the ball well from deep, where they were 10/17 for the game. Kenrich Williams finished with a double-double yet again, dropping in 11 points and grabbing 10 boards. Six Frogs finished the game in double-figures and the team shot 50% from the field and were 14/19 from the line. We know effort has never been a problem for this team, but it was crucial in helping them overcome 22 turnovers.
With the victory, the Frogs are now 15-7 overall and 4-5 in Big 12 play. Next up, TCU will face Texas at home on Saturday at noon looking for their first season sweep of the Longhorns since joining the Big 12.