After 13 tries, Kansas State finally got the job done. The Wildcats finally won a true conference road game for the first time since the OU game last season. It wasn't always pretty, but at this point in the season it doesn't matter how you get the win, you just have to get it done.
The first half of the game was primarily decided by offensive runs. K-State started the game on a 16-4 run behind six points from Justin Edwards and a series of three point shots. TCU then fought back with a 7-0 run of their own sparked by PG Malique Trent's three point shooting. Then it was K-State's turn again, with the 'Cats scoring the next nine points, all but two coming from freshman Barry Brown. From the nine minute mark on both teams traded baskets, with the half ending with a 35-24 advantage for the good guys in purple.
The second half was a lackadaisical affair as the teams, fans, and even announcers seemed to sleep walk through this part of the game. TCU never got any closer than 10 points down, while K-State never seemed to push further ahead than 14. Overall, K-State played pretty pedestrian which against TCU is enough to pull out a victory. Hopefully the good shooting from the first half will start to carry over to more games.
Three point shooting. Kansas State had one of it's best shooting nights of the season, and much of that was due to Barry Brown. Brown was red-hot hitting 4-6 from deep and 6-9 overall. That is the exact type of production K-State needs from Brown if it wants to be competitive as the 'Cats head down the stretch of conference play.
TCU on the other hand was awful from the three point line. Chauncey Collins, a 40% shooter on the year, led the brickfest throwing up seven three point attempts, but only connecting with one. It's never fun to watch a team shoot that poorly from three, as Kansas State fans can surely attest.
Player Of The Game: Barry Brown
Microwave got hot early and never cooled off, as he blizted TCU to the tune of 16 points on 66.7% shooting. He also grabbed five rebounds, though the two missed foul shots and the five turnovers stand out on an otherwise stellar offensive performance.
Tigger Of The Game: Justin Edwards
Note: Since HC Bruce Weber noted there are "a lot of Tiggers on this team," we're going to find that player that had an high-flying offensive play, stonewall defensive play, or a notable performance, and call them out here.
While Wesley Iwundu is usually K-State's motor on offense, Edwards took over that role last night. Edward's line, 17 points on five of ten shooting including six of seven from the charity stripe. He also added four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks. Yoeman's work for the senior who started alongside Barry Brown for the first time this season. Moving forward I'd expect to see these two playing along side each other more often as the two guard combined to score over 50% of K-State's points.
K-State got the monkey off it's back
The biggest knock against this team was it's inability to finish games, and it's lack of road wins. Those two things changed tonight. Kansas State took an early lead and never looked back, while finish on the road albeit against a horrible TCU team. The next question is can this team build off this victory and finish the conference season strong and at a minimum put itself in the bubble conversation.