This season will be remembered as a waste; as what should-have-been. But the corners are filled with people singin' their shoulda', coulda', woulda's. At the end of the day, it was a fitting end to this season - a season where we manage to find 8 wins against BPI Top-50 competition, and manage to lose to teams like Texas Southern, Tennessee, split with Texas Tech, and drop 2 of 3 to these TCU Horned Frogs.
15-17. First losing season since 2003.
K-State came out of the blocks and looked good for the first 8 minutes, taking the ball to the basket aggressively, finding open looks, and converting. The Wildcats held a 16-12 lead with just under 12 minutes left in the first half, then TCU went on a 9-0 run to seize the lead. After that point, the Wildcats - true to form against their worse opponents - looked thoroughly discombobulated, and frankly, uninterested in the first half. Didn't help that Nino Williams was sitting on the bench with two fouls, but teams deal.
Second half, and K-State comes out with a bit more energy. A bit more fire. They traded punches with the Frogs, and whittled an 8-point deficit to 4 by the under-16 timeout. TCU would then stretch the game back out to 7 by the under-12, and to 11 points again with 6:01 left. And here comes the Wildcats once again. Keyed off some important offensive rebounds, K-State cuts it to 2 with just under two minutes to play. But the Cats crapped their pants once again in late game circumstances, coming up empty on the last several possessions, and the poor-FT shooting Horned Frogs were able to make enough late to keep a cushion. Wesley Iwundu banked in a running three as the horn sounded for the final 67-65 spread.
There aren't any stats that are important when you lose your last game of the year, but here ya go:
Marcus Foster went 0-5 from the floor, 0-1 from behind the arc, and didn't score a point. He still contributed 5 rebounds, but alas, there's probably your difference in the game. It wasn't a lack of engagement - it was simply a lack of effectiveness. Hear from Marcus Foster.
K-State amassed 20 offensive boards, and 41 rebounds total.
The Wildcats didn't defend the shot very well, allowing TCU to shoot 47.4% for the game.
Player(s) of the Game: Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson
Fitting that the two seniors in the primary rotation would be the ones that tried to drag the team through the muck in their last game.
Nino Williams closed out his career with a double-double, with 13 points and 10 rebounds in relatively limited minutes due to foul trouble.
Thomas Gipson finished his time in a K-State uniform with 16 points and 7 rebounds. He's landed in the top-15 all-time in scoring and rebounding; a feat 6 others have accomplished.
On a side note, Wesley played like he should have had a 20-10 night, but couldn't quite convert on his chances at the rim, and finished with 10 and 6, and three steals. He's not very happy, though.
One of these days I might get around to working up a rambling mess of my thoughts overall on the season. Today isn't one of those days. There isn't anything to take away from this game in particular that hasn't been repeated ad nauseum this entire season.
The annual Spring Game is slated for Sporting Park in Kansas City, April 25th.
And practice better start Monday for the basketball team.