TCU, looking to end a three-game conference losing skid, took an early lead against the No. 16 Kansas State Wildcats, but the Frogs weren’t ready.
The Wildcats went on a 19-4 run in the first half to grab a lead they never relinquished after falling behind 10-5.
“It’s all about Kansas State,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. “We’re not ready to compete. We’re not ready to play with a team that caliber right now.”
Kansas State hit back-to-back three pointers to open the second half for a 44-27 lead. The Wildcats extended their lead to as much as 25 on their way to a 67-54 victory.
“That’s a very experienced, very well-coached team, very worthy of their ranking,” Johnson said. “I thought we probably played as good as we could play for the first three or four minutes. But like most good teams that are matured, skilled, understand their roles…we had a couple breakdowns defensively, we had a couple breakdowns offensively and they make you pay.”
KSU guard Rodney McGruder led all scorers with 21 points and forward Jordan Henriquez, who fouled out with 7:09 left in the game, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. TCU forward Adrick McKinney scored a career-high 18 points and had nine rebounds.
TCU was down 26-21 in the first half with a chance to cut the lead on a fast break and failed to capitalize on the opportunity. Martavious Irving hit a 3-pointer on the Wildcats next possession to grab an eight point lead.
“[Kansas State] never lost poise,” Johnson said. “I thought for us to have a chance in this thing down the stretch we would have to be within striking distance at about the ten minute mark in the second half. When they got that separation, you could see they cut us up.”
McKinney said the Frogs’ defensive breakdowns allowed Kansas State to take open 3-pointers and extend the lead.
The Wildcats hit 52.9 percent from three, including 5-of-10 in the first half.
“A few times we stopped on plays and that’s a good team so against good teams you can’t stop on plays,” McKinney said. “They gonna make us pay so they made us pay tonight.”
With the win, Kansas State (14-2, 3-0) extended its winning-streak to seven games and remained tied with Kansas and Oklahoma for first place in the Big 12. The Frogs (9-8, 0-4)
dropped their fourth straight conference game.
McKinney said some players are feeling down in the locker room, but the team needs to keep on fighting.
“We can’t afford to not fight,” McKinney said. “If we don’t fight, we can’t win.”