Some of the statistics at the beginning of this game read sort of like some kind of sick joke, first for Kansas State (6 turnovers in 4:30 minutes) and then for TCU (0 rebounds in the first 7 minutes). If you weren't fighting Wichita-area cable and could actually watch the game, the action was pretty ugly, too.
But at the end of the night, all that really matters is Kansas State got its win, and they did it rather comfortably, by a score of 65-47. Thomas Gipson scored 19, Marcus Foster added 16, and KSU shot a rather astonishing 21-of-40 from the field.
Two key stretches won the game for Kansas State.
The first came with about 7 minutes left in the first half when the Wildcats realized that yes, they had in fact seen a zone defense before, and also that TCU had no one remotely capable of stopping Thomas Gipson if he could catch the ball inside. He got a few of K-State's many dunks.
The second came shortly after the shocking few minutes where several TCU players actually made jump shots. It didn't last of course, but Karviar Shepherd actually cut the lead to 40-36 with a tough guarded J with 11:29 left.
Shane Southwell responded immediately with a critical 3-pointer, which would be a theme of the second half. Just a few minutes later, Marcus Foster hit back-to-back tough shots from 3, and suddenly the lead was a virtually insurmountable 11 points with 4:52 to go.
All in all, KSU seemed to handle the road atmosphere (in this case, a virtually empty stadium with a few hecklers here and there) reasonably well, though the 18 turnovers and 16-of-23 shooting from the free throw line are somewhat disturbing. The freshmen looked basically like their normal selves, except for a few discrepancies from Jevon Thomas.
He made his first career 3-pointer on an extremely ill-advised shot from a long ways away in the first half, and his 2 assists were by far a season-low. Also, when TCU went on its run happened to be when he looked the most tired and wasn't applying his normal pressure on defense, which is probably not a coincidence.
K-State outrebounded TCU 37-21 and seemed to have the energy it needed most of the night, but the focus was in and out. It was more than enough to beat an incredibly bad TCU team, but it certainly won't be enough to improve to 3-0 in the Big 12 at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.