No. 15 Kansas State overcame a sluggish first half to defeat TCU 70-61 on Thursday in the second quarterfinal of the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo. The Wildcats will face Iowa State in Friday’s first semifinal. The Cyclones defeated Baylor 83-66 in Thursday’s first quarterfinal.
The top-seeded Wildcats struggled from the field and the line, but managed to sweep the eighth-seeded Horned Frogs. Kansas State was playing without first-team all-Big 12 forward Dean Wade, who was out with a foot injury. Head coach Bruce Weber said Wednesday that Wade likely would not play in this week’s tournament.
Kansas State did not take its first lead until the 14:48 mark, when Kamau Stokes hit a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 42-39 lead. They finished a 17-2 run to take a 51-41 lead. But the Horned Frogs didn’t give up. They cut the lead to three points twice before Xavier Sneed completed a four-point play to regain a comfortable edge.
Sneed led Kansas State (25-7) with 19 points. Barry Brown added 12, Stokes had 11 and Makol Mawien had 10. Mawien also pulled down eight rebounds and Sneed added seven.
TCU (20-13) was led by Desmond Bane with 16 points. Alex Robinson added 12 and Kevin Samuel had 11.
TCU came out hot, hitting its first three 3-pointers and racing to a pair of 12-point leads. Kansas State, which has struggled offensively all season, had trouble getting open against the Horned Frogs’ defense. Eventually, Kansas State started to hit a few shots, which helped the Wildcats’ defense. They finished the half on a three-pointer by Sneed to cut the deficit to 34-32 at halftime.
TCU was led by Robinson with nine points in the first half, and seven each by JD Miller and Samuel.
Kansas State was led by Brown with 10 points. Levi Stockard matched his season high for a game with eight points.
—Field Level Media