Sophomore center Kevin Samuel’s tip-in with 2 seconds lifted TCU to a 59-57 win over Kansas State on Tuesday night in the Big 12 home opener before 7,119 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
The game-winning tip-in came 11 seconds after junior reserve David Sloan’s 3-pointer tied the game at 57-all that helped the Wildcats (7-7, 0-2 Big 12) erase an 11-point second-half deficit.
In the final sequence, Samuel was able to rebound teammate R.J. Nembhard’s missed jump shot for the tip-in and game-winning basket, as TCU (11-3, 2-0 Big 12) snapped a 4-game losing streak in the series.
Six of K-State’s 7 losses have now come by single digits, including 5 losses by 6 points or less.
The loss spoiled a nearly impressive comeback and defensive effort by K-State, which trailed by 10 points at halftime after allowing 4 3-point field goals in the last 3:26 of the half and by 11 points just 2 minutes into the second half. The Wildcats held the Horned Frogs to just 24 points on 22.2 percent (6-of-27) shooting in the second half after allowing 35 in the opening half on 43.8 percent (14-of-32) shooting, including 7 3-pointers.
Senior Xavier Sneed led all scorers for the second consecutive game with 19 points on 5-of-14 field goals and 8-of-10 free throws, while fellow senior Makol Mawien added 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Sloan led the bench with 8 points in 21 minutes, as he had to spell starting point guard Cartier Diarra, who was hampered by foul trouble.
Samuel was one of four Horned Frogs in double figures, as he posted a double-double with 10 points on 5-of-9 field goals and a game-high 15 rebounds. Senior Desmond Bane led the team with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, while Nembhard and senior Jaire Grayer added 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Ten of TCU’s 20 field goals came from 3-point range, as the Horned Frogs connected on 37 percent (10-of-27) from long range, but just 31.3 percent (10-of-32) from inside the arc. K-State’s offense was the complete opposite, as the Wildcats connected on 58.6 percent (17-of-29) of their 2-point field goals, but just 20 percent (4-of-20) of their 3-pointers. K-State also squandered its opportunities at the free throw line in the second half, going 3-of-10.