Foster Helps K-State Past TCU, 58-53


MANHATTAN, Kan. - Sophomore Marcus Foster scored a game-high 23 points to help Kansas State snap a 3-game losing streak with a 58-53 win over TCU on Wednesday night before 12,213 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Up 46-36 with 4:20 remaining in the contest, Marcus Foster kept the Wildcats afloat during the stretch run as he hit 9-of-10 free throw attempts to seal the victory. Foster went off for 16 points in the second half to give him a game-high 23 points on the night – his 20th career 20-plus point effort. 

K-State (8-7, 1-1 Big 12), which held TCU (13-2, 0-2 Big 12) to a season-low in points, improved to 5-0 against the Horned Frogs in Big 12 play and avoided starting the conference slate 0-2 for the first time since 2011.

The Basics
Final Score: Kansas State 58, TCU 53
Records: Kansas State (8-7, 1-1 Big 12); TCU (13-2, 0-2 Big 12)
Attendance: 12,213
Next Game: Saturday, Jan. 10 \\ at Oklahoma (11-3, 2-0 Big 12) \\ 6 p.m. CT \\ ESPNU

The Short Story
•    After a slow start offensively for both teams left the game at 22-19 K-State after the first half, the Wildcats and Horned Frogs combined for 70 points in the second half. In the end, K-State was able to ward off TCU thanks to strong second half free throw shooting, 16-of-21 from the line for a 76.2 percent clip, as the Wildcats outscored TCU 36-34 in the contest’s final 20 minutes for a 58-53 victory.  
•    Thomas Gipson pitched in seven points on 3-of-5 shooting during a crucial stretch to give K-State its largest lead of the evening at 46-36 with 4:20 remaining.
•    From there, the Wildcats would hold on with Marcus Foster leading the charge, as the sophomore hit 9-of-10 from the free throw line in the game’s final two minutes. Foster exploded for 16 points in the second half that included hitting 2-of-3 attempts from three and 10-of-12 tries from the line.
•    K-State picked up its first win in four games despite failing to score 60 points in a game for a fourth-straight contest – the first time since February of 1997 that a Wildcat squad has endured such a stretch.
•    Foster led all scorers with 23 points for the game on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. The 20-plus point performance marked the 20th time he has eclipsed 20 points in his career and the fourth time this season. His latest effort put him in double-digits for the first time since Dec. 28, 2014 against Texas Southern when he scored 17 points and it is the fifth time he’s led K-State in scoring this season – tying him with Gipson for the team-high.
•    K-State shined on defense, holding TCU well below its season scoring average of 74 points with the 53 points being the Horned Frogs’ lowest scoring output this season. The 19 points scored by TCU in the first half tied for the fewest points allowed in a half by the Wildcats this season – Bradley also scored 19 points in the opening half this past December.

How It Happened  |  First Half
•    Both teams scored in bunches to open up the first half. The Wildcats first jumped to an early 7-0 lead, thanks to four points from Nino Williams and a trey by Wesley Iwundu. TCU would quickly respond though with an 8-0 run of its own, making it 8-7 at the 14:07 mark.
•    K-State posted seven unanswered following the Horned Frogs’ run, sparked by five consecutive points by Marcus Foster off the bench – Foster led all scorers with seven points in the game’s opening 20.
•    With K-State up 14-10 at the halfway point of the first half, both teams would go onto to trade baskets in a back-and-forth affair that saw TCU outscore the ‘Cats 9-8 in the final ten minutes to close the K-State advantage to 22-19.
•    Neither team was able to limit the turnovers, as K-State racked up 11 turnovers forced to TCU’s nine. The Wildcats cashed in with nine points off those opportunities compared to the Horned Frogs’ seven points off turnovers.

How It Happened  |  Second Half
•    K-State got off to a quick start, scoring 10 of the first 15 points in the second half. Williams pitched in four points, while Foster hit back-to-back threes to give the Wildcats a 32-24 advantage at the 16:29 mark.
•    That lead would grow to 10 after Iwundu and Jevon Thomas lay-ups shortly after, but TCU would not go away, responding with a 7-0 run to close the gap to three.
•    K-State responded scoring 10 of the next 13 points to move the lead back to double-digits, with Thomas Gipson scoring seven for the ‘Cats on 3-of-5 shooting during that stretch.
•    Up 46-36 with 4:20 remaining in the contest, TCU continued to bounce back, scoring eight points in the following three minutes to K-State’s two to make it 48-44 Wildcats.
•    Free throw shooting for the Wildcats sealed the victory, as they hit 10-of-12 tries in the game’s final 1:04. The victory was not without its drama though, as TCU briefly reduced the deficit to 56-53 off a Foster turnover on an inbounds play with seven seconds remaining.
•    The sophomore would redeem himself shortly after, hitting the game’s final two free throws for a 58-53 final – Foster was 9-of-10 from the charity stripe in the last two minutes of the contest.
•    K-State dominated the glass in the second half, out-rebounding the Horned Frogs 21-to-10, including nine coming in the offensive end. Despite the advantage, TCU was still able to outscore K-State 22-to-14 in the paint.

Beyond the Boxscore
•    K-State picked up its sixth win in its last eight Big 12 home openers, including its fourth-in-a-row dating back to 2012.
•    The Wildcats improved their head-to-head record against the Horned Frogs to 8-to-2…K-State is now 5-0 against TCU in Big 12 play.
•    K-State is now 31-4 under head coach Bruce Weber when holding opponents to less than 60 points, including 3-2 for this season…the Wildcats are 2-4 when scoring under 60 points this season and 5-10 all-time under Weber.
•    Foster’s 23 points fueled the Wildcats to hold a 28-to-19 advantage in bench points.
•    The Wildcats outrebounded the Horned Frogs 33-to-27, including 15 offensive rebounds, though TCU led points in the paint 32-to-24…K-State is now 6-3 on the season when outrebounding opponent.
•    Neither team shot the ball considerably well with K-State hitting 16-of-42 attempts the field for a 38.1 percent success rate, while TCU was a putrid 1-of-9 (11.1 percent) from assists, the Wildcats dished out nine helpers to 16 converted tries from the field and TCU had 10 assists to 19 baskets made.

•    “I am pleased with the guys. We played hard from the get go and got off to a good start. They are a much improved team with more weapons. Obviously somebody like [Trey] Ziegler as a fifth year guy that is a coach’s son, he knows how to play. It gives them more weapons than what they had a year ago. I thought we did a good job on their big guys.[Chris] Washburn had no field goals, [Karviar] Shephard had no field goals, and [Amric] Fields went at us a little bit in the second half but overall pretty good there. And then if you are going to tell me we are going to hold [Kyan] Anderson to eight and three turnovers – I mean, I think he even got pretty frustrated that they even took him out and put Ziegler in, which at point guard they do not do that very much. We guarded, rebounded, and played hard,” said head coach Bruce Weber.

Up Next
•    K-State returns to the road on Saturday, as the Wildcats travel to Norman, Okla., to face No. 16/18 Oklahoma (11-3, 2-0 Big 12) at the Lloyd Noble Center. Tip is set for 6 p.m. CT and will air nationally on ESPNU. The squad begins a two-game homestand on Wednesday, Jan. 14 vs. Texas Tech (10-5, 0-2 Big 12).