Tenth-seeded Kansas State blew a 13-point second-half lead but came back late to defeat the No. 7 seed TCU 53-49 Wednesday night in the first round of the Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center. The Wildcats scored the final eight points of the game.
The Wildcats will play No. 2 seed Baylor in Thursday's quarterfinal.
After taking a 10-point halftime lead, Kansas State grabbed an early 33-20 lead in the second half. But a 12-0 TCU run got the Frogs back into the game. When PJ Fuller hit a 3-pointer with 11:37 left, the game was tied for the first time at 35-all.
TCU got its first lead of the game with 4:47 remaining on a running layup by RJ Nembhard.
K-State regained the lead with 1:18 left when Makol Mawien scored inside. Nembhard's 3-point attempt caromed off with four seconds left.
TCU (16-16, 7-11 Big 12) was led by Nembhard's 19 points and Desmond Bane's 16, 14 of which were in the second half.
Kansas State (11-21, 3-15) was led by Cartier Diarra with 13 points.
Prior to the night's first game, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced that, beginning with Thursday's games in both the men's and women's tournaments, all games will be played with restricted access due to concerns about the coronavirus. Each team will be allotted 125 tickets to be given to guests of athletes, coaches and support staff. The arena will be cleared after each game.
Kansas State turned in a stellar first-half defensive effort, forcing the same number of turnovers as points allowed (10) through the first 17:34. The Cats' largest lead of the half was 17 points. In the half, K-State limited TCU to just 31.8 percent shooting. The Wildcats took a 28-18 lead into halftime.
Kansas State was not exactly hot from the field, only connecting on 35.5 percent of its shots in the first half, missing 11 of its final 13 shots. But the Wildcats took nine more shots than the Horned Frogs.
Kansas State had an evenly balanced attack, led by Diarra with seven points. Without Nembhard's 12 points, TCU would have been in worse trouble.
--Field Level Media