MANHATTAN, Kansas – After a strong defensive first half, K-State was still in need of a third straight fourth quarter rally on Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum. The comeback bid fell just shy, as TCU escaped with a 54-52 win.
“Well, hard fought loss. We didn’t play as well the last three minutes,” said K-State head coach Jeff Mittie. “We had opportunities. I thought we had chances in that stretch to make some plays, and we just didn’t. At the end, we had our opportunities again. We did a pretty good job, that last minute, of continuing to give ourselves chances and opportunities. We just couldn’t make one more play.”
K-State (12-12, 6-7 Big 12) led 41-40 to begin the fourth quarter. The Horned Frogs would build a three-point advantage, 46-43, before a jumper from Jasauen Beard with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter brought the Wildcats within one, 46-45.
Beard then finished a pair of baskets, including an acrobatic layup, to give K-State a 49-46 lead with 3:05 remaining. Beard ended the night with 13 points, all in the second half including six in the fourth quarter.
TCU (19-5, 10-3) would respond with a 7-0 run over the next two minutes to lead 53-49 with 55 seconds remaining. Senior and All-America candidate Peyton Williams, who notched nine points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks, made a pair of free throws with 53 seconds left to bring K-State to within two, 53-51.
With her 13 rebounds, Williams moved into third on the K-State career rebounds list with 932 and passing Carlisa Thomas (923; 1984-87).
An offensive foul on the Horned Frogs, would give K-State possession with 32 seconds remaining. The Wildcats found Lee under the rim, but she was only able to make one of two free throws with 11 seconds left.
Redshirt freshman and All-America candidate Ayoka Lee notched her 15th double-double of the season and her fourth straight with 22 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks. This is her seventh game with a double-double and five or more blocks.
After a slow start to the first quarter for both teams, K-State closed out the frame with an 8-0 run to build a 12-6 lead. Lee scored 10 of the 12 points in the quarter, including all eight during the run. The Wildcat defense held the Horned Frogs to 2-of-19 shooting in the first stanza.
The six points allowed by the Wildcats in the opening quarter were the fewest surrendered since K-State held Oklahoma State to three points in the first quarter on January 23, 2019.
Lee continued her scoring run into the second quarter, as she registered the first four points of the frame and extending her scoring run to 12-0. Angela Harris finished a runner to give the Wildcats an 18-6 lead with 7:16 to play. Lee ended the first half with 16 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.
TCU closed to within seven points twice including the halftime margin, as K-State held a 24-17 lead at the half. The Wildcats held the Horned Frogs to 16.7 percent shooting in the first half.
The 17 points were the fewest K-State allowed since January 14, 2017, when the Wildcats held Oklahoma State to 17 first half points.
Beard started the third quarter quickly for K-State with five points and push the Wildcats in front, 29-17. The Horned Frogs crept to within seven, 33-26, with 4:54 remaining in the frame.
TCU used a 16-8 run to end the third quarter, which included taking a brief lead 39-38, with 43 seconds to play before a Lee layup pushed the Wildcats back in front heading to the fourth quarter, 41-40.
For the night, K-State shot 36.1 percent (22-of-61) from the field but were held to 1-of-13 from beyond the arc. TCU carded a 29.5 percent (18-of-61) including a 2-of-14 performance from deep. The Horned Frogs were 16-of-23 from the foul line, while the Wildcats were 7-of-10.
K-State will be on the road again this weekend, as the Wildcats travel to Austin, Texas, to face the Longhorns on Saturday afternoon at 12 p.m. Saturday’s game will be broadcast on Longhorn Network as well as on the K-State Sports Network and for free at kstatesports.com.
Courtesy: K-State Athletics