Fort Worth, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The 25th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats will take their lengthy winning streak on the road on Tuesday night, as they head to Daniel-Meyer Coliseum for a Big 12 Conference showdown with the TCU Horned Frogs.
Kansas State's season got off to a shaky start, as it lost three of its first five games. Since then however, the Wildcats have caught fire with eight consecutive victories, most recently upsetting nationally-ranked Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon, 74-71, a win strong enough to make their season debut in the top-25. Although K-State is 3-2 on neutral floors this season, this matchup marks its first true road contest.
TCU, which will close out a season-long six-game homestand at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in this bout, has impressed this season with a 9-4 overall record, although it got off to an 0-1 start in the Big 12 with a 74-69 loss to West Virginia on Saturday. The Horned Frogs had been winners of five straight prior to that contest and are 5-2 in Fort Worth this season.
The Wildcats swept the season series over the Horned Frogs in 2012-13, with each win coming by double figures. Kansas State now leads the all-time series by a 5-2 count.
The Wildcats trailed Oklahoma State for the majority of their latest contest but kept their deficit to one-possession for the most part and finally took the lead for good with under five minutes to play on a pair of Shane Southwell free throws, and while OSU got within one point on four occasions in the final four minutes it could never again take the lead. They shot just 36.7 percent from the field in the win but was lifted by a 25-of-36 showing at the foul line. Marcus Foster paced the effort with 17 points and eight rebounds. Nino Williams scored 15 points off the bench, while Thomas Gipson registered a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
On the season, Kansas State's offense has been modest at best, shooting a mere 41.4 percent from the field for 67.9 ppg, but it has found great success behind an outstanding defense, which ranks ninth in the nation in allowing just 58.8 ppg. Foster, a freshman, leads the team with 14.0 ppg despite shooting less than 39 percent from the field. Gipson (11.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is a mainstay in the frontcourt, while Southwell (11.5 ppg) dishes out a team-best 3.2 apg.
The Horned Frogs went into halftime of their contest with WVU trailing by three points, and while they were able to keep their deficit to single digits for a large portion of the second stanza, they could never take the lead. They shot a strong 47.2 percent from the field on the afternoon, including 9-of-19 from 3-point range, but they were just 10-of-17 from the free-throw line and were outrebounded, 38-30. Amric Fields shined with a season-high 22 points on 8-of-13 from the field. Brandon Parrish shot 4-of-8 from beyond the arc for 18 points, while Kyan Anderson chipped in 12 points.
TCU offense this season scores 70.2 ppg on 44 percent field-goal shooting, which is enough to support a strong defensive attack (.402, 66.4 ppg). Not only does Anderson lead the team with 16.2 ppg, doing so on greater than 52 percent from the field, but he also has nearly twice as many assists (67) as turnover (36) and swipes more than a steal per contest as well. Fields (15.0 ppg) has missed seven games due to injury but has been a huge boost when he's on the floor. Jarvis Ray (11.0 ppg), Parrish (10.9 ppg) and Karviar Shepherd (7.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.3 rpg) round out the balanced squad.