It was another good night for K-State on the hardwoods, both in women’s and men’s play.
Kansas State dispatched TCU in Fort Worth last night, inching ever closer to their first conference title since 2012-2013. The odds that said K-State had the worst chance among the top three league teams of winning the title outright hinged principally on the presumption that the Wildcats would struggle on the road at TCU. Other than at Kansas and at Texas Tech, places where nearly every league school has tried and failed, though, the ‘Cats have not struggled in any conference road games. They concluded the road portion of their Big 12 slate last night, compiling a 7-2 record away from Bramlage Coliseum. As Kellis Robinett put it, they are the Road Warriors of the Big 12.
The game may not have been artful in the end, but behind a defensive effort that held the Horned Frogs 22 points below their season average and a balanced scoring splurge that bracketed the last five minutes of the first half and the first five of the second, K-State won at TCU by a score of 64-52. With only a home game against Oklahoma remaining, a piece of the Big 12 title is tantalizingly close.
TCU’s 52 points were a season low, and by holding them down, K-State spoiled the Horned Frogs’ Senior night, and maybe a whole lot more. In a video clip, courtesy of the Wichita Eagle, Barry Brown explained how the Wildcats did it. Barry also got back on track on the offensive end of the floor, leading the ‘Cats with 16 points.
If you believe in cold, objective numbers, some calculations suggest that K-State now has an 85 percent chance of winning at least a share of the conference title, higher than the chances of any challenger.
Oklahoma comes to Manhattan Saturday. It’s Senior Day, and Dean Wade, Kamau Stokes and Barry Brown Jr. deserve our full appreciation for the job they’ve done as athletes and representatives of K-State.
Continuing the road warrior theme, the K-State women polished off their Big 12 campaign by overcoming a 14-point halftime deficit with a 50-point second half, as they defeated Oklahoma State in Stillwater, 68-58. It was the women’s fifth straight road win. Peyton Williams had her second consecutive 24-point night and 14 rebounds to lead the Wildcats.
With the win, K-State is assured no worse than a 4th place tie in the league. One major contributor to the surge has been freshman Christianna Carr, who won her second career Big 12 Freshman of the Week award yesterday after averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2 assists last week. Mittie’s squad is playing well at the right time and should now be safely into the NCAA tournament field.
Track and Field
K-State Sports Extra today features pentathlete Lauren Taubert, who surprised herself by grabbing the 15th of 16 spots for the national indoor championships, to be held in Birmingham, Alabama this week. K-State has now sent a pentathlete to the championships for nine straight years, which ties Arkansas for the longest current streak in the nation.
Chris Klieman’s first season at the helm of K-State football will begin with spring workouts soon. The athletic department announced yesterday that, rather than a spring “game,” K-State will host a “Spring Showcase” on April 13. This will apparently involve a practice with live commentary by Coach Klieman and some meet and greet time with the staff, culminating with a brief scrimmage.
Former ‘Cat Alex Barnes turned lots of heads with his stellar workout at the NFL combine, and one expert to take notice was NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson. LT was surprised by Barnes’ speed, route running and hands, and predicted he would rocket up NFL teams’ draft boards.