No. 18 Kansas St still in Big 12 lead after 64-52 win at TCU
By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — No one has played more games for Kansas State than Barry Brown. The Wildcats have a chance to become Big 12 champs in his next one.
Brown scored 16 points to lead four players scoring in double figures for the 18th-ranked Wildcats in a 64-52 win on Monday night that kept them in a share for the Big 12 lead with one game left in the regular season.
“It’s good, but it’s not over,” said Brown, whose 135th career game played tied the school record he can break on senior day in his final home game Saturday. “Glad we all put ourselves in a position to control our own destiny.”
Kansas State (23-7, 13-4 Big 12) went ahead to stay with a tiebreaking 13-4 run to end the first half, then scored the first 10 points after halftime.
Kamau Stokes added 15 points for the Wildcats, who are tied with No. 8 Texas Tech (25-5, 13-4) atop the Big 12 standings. The Red Raiders, who won by 15 at TCU on Saturday, beat Texas in their home finale Monday night.
“It’s very rewarding, but the thing we talk about is not being satisfied,” Stokes said. “We’ve pretty much been in first, and we couldn’t get comfortable with that because we knew that teams were going to fight to get us out of that position. We take care of business Saturday, it’s ours. … It would be lovely to get that.”
Kevin Samuel had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead TCU (18-12, 6-11), which has lost six of seven after its lowest scoring game this season.
“Every bubble team seems to lose, we’ve got to play better,” Frogs coach Jamie Dixon said. “I keep telling them during and after the games I believe we can be better.”
RJ Nembhard scored 12 points while the Frogs but Kouat Noi, who came into the game their top scorer at 15 per game, was held scoreless.
After TCU’s Desmond Bane made a second-chance 3-pointer with 4:47 left in the first half to tie the game at 23, the Wildcats started their game-turning run.
Dean Wade assisted on a 3-pointer by Stokes before he had a steal. Wade and Brown then traded passes down the court before a lob pass that Wade slammed home.
“I knew as soon as he got the steal … It was going to be a lob, it was no doubt in my mind,” Brown said.
Stokes hit a 3 that beat the shot clock just before halftime for a 36-27 lead at the break.
K-State led by as many as 21 points before TCU reeled off 10 points in a row, a streak that finally ended when Mike McGuirl stopped underneath and passed out to Makol Mawien for a 13-foot jumper in the lane.
“There were a lot of big plays,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “Kind of won the game three different times. … They didn’t quit. We had to win it again, and finish it off.”
Kansas St.: The Wildcats’ only Big 12 title came in 2012-13, as co-champs in Weber’s first season. They shared that title with Kansas, the 14-time defending champion that won the last five titles outright. K-State started 0-2 in the Big 12 when Wade was out with a foot injury, but is 13-2 in conference play since.
TCU: Before their slump, the Frogs seemed to be well on their way to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament after ending a two-decade drought last year. They could up with another home game, in the NIT if they don’t make the 68-team NCAA field.
ON THE ROAD
K-State finished 7-2 in Big 12 road games, matching its most conference road wins since 1959.
TCU seniors Alex Robinson and JD Miller were recognized before the game. Robinson, who is from Fort Worth but played his first college season for Texas A&M, is TCU’s career assist leader at 628. Miller has played in all 133 games since he got on campus, three short of Brandon Parrish’s school record of 136.
Kansas State is home Saturday against Oklahoma, on senior day for starters Wade, Brown and Stokes.
TCU plays its regular-season finale Saturday at Texas, another NCAA Tournament bubble team.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25