K-State Downed by TCU on Wednesday Night

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Kansas State struggled through a rough shooting effort in the first half on Wednesday night, as TCU handed K-State its second home loss of the season with a 61-47 decision at Bramlage Coliseum.

In the first five minutes of Wednesday’s game, Kansas State’s offensive struggles continued from Saturday’s loss at West Virginia. K-State was forced into six turnovers and an 0-of-3 start from the field, as TCU (15-5, 5-4 Big 12) led 7-0 with 4:55 remaining in the opening quarter.

K-State (13-8, 4-5) would score on four straight possessions following the media timeout to pull within five, 12-7, with 2:51 remaining. TCU would hold an 18-9 lead at the end of the quarter following a pair of three-pointers from Kianna Ray.

TCU increased its lead to 11, 24-13, with 6:23 remaining in the second quarter. A layup from Kayla Goth with 7:58 remaining brought K-State to within seven, 20-13, but four straight points from Amy Okonkwo forced the K-State timeout.

The Horned Frogs built a 14-point lead, 27-13, following a corner three-pointer from Lauren Heard with 5:44 remaining. This marked the final points of the quarter for TCU, as K-State cut the deficit to nine at the half, 27-18, as Kali Jones converted a layup just before the halftime buzzer.

In the opening half, Kansas State shot 36.8 percent (7-of-19) from the field and turned the ball over 13 times. TCU shot 34.5 percent (10-of-29) and held a 12-6 edge in points off turnovers.

K-State opened the third quarter with a steal and fastbreak layup from Jasauen Beard to cut the TCU lead to 27-20 with 9:43 remaining in the frame. The Horned Frogs then used a 10-0 run to build a 37-20 lead with 6:46 to play, as Ray made her fourth 3-pointer of the night to force a K-State timeout.

For the first time in seven-plus quarters, K-State made a 3-pointer as Christianna Carr ended the drought from beyond the arc and bring K-State to within 14, 37-23, with 4:42 to play in the third. Before Carr’s connections, the Wildcats were 0-of-25 from 3-point range with their last three coming with 5:57 to play in the third quarter by Rachel Ranke against Oklahoma State.

The Wildcats would outscore the Horned Frogs for the remainder of the quarter, 10-5, to pull back to within 12, 42-30, entering the fourth quarter. Jones beat the buzzer again, this time connecting on a baseline jumper.

K-State forced a TCU timeout early in the fourth quarter, as the Wildcats scored the first four points of the final frame to pull within eight, 42-34, with 8:11 to play.

The Wildcats were able to pull to within six, 44-38, with 6:36 to play but TCU sealed the win with a 15-5 run to build a 59-43 lead with just over a minute to play.

Kansas State was led by Goth with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. With her 17 points, she jumped from 34th on the K-State career scoring list to 31st as she has 1,100 points for her career.

TCU had three players in double figures and were led by Lauren Heard with 20 points and five assists.

For the night, K-State shot 35.6 percent (16-of-45) and were 3-of-18 from beyond the arc. TCU finished at 41.7 percent (20-of-48) including a 9-of-25 effort from 3-point range. The Horned Frogs ended the night with a 23-15 edge in points off turnovers, as K-State was forced into 21 turnovers compared to TCU’s 16.

K-State concludes its two-game home stand on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats host Iowa State at 1 p.m. The Big 12 matchup between the Wildcats and the Cyclones will be K-State’s annual Play 4 Kay game. The first 2,000 fans will receive a free pink K-State women’s basketball t-shirt when entering Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State will also hold a pregame clinic at 10 a.m., for girls in first through eighth grades for National Girls and Women in Sports Day. The pregame clinic will be hosted by K-State female student-athletes and feature stations highlighting many different sports. All participants in the clinic will receive a free rally towel and free admission to the women’s basketball game at 1 p.m.

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Mitch Fortner

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