Wildcats Fall to TCU in Big 12 Championship

"Our guys didn't quit. I think the game was kind of a microcosm of the whole season - a bunch of ups and downs and all arounds," said Wildcat head coach Bruce Weber after last night's loss. "But, to our kids' credit, they battled and battled. We gave ourselves a chance... but you know, TCU, they made enough plays when it counted down the stretch."
Though the outcome wasn't what they worked for, it was seniors Thomas Gipson and Nino Williams who led K-State in their final game in a K-State uniform. Gipson paced the Wildcats with 16 points, going 6-of-10 from the field and grabbing seven rebounds. Williams recorded his fourth career double-double by scoring 13 points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. 
"Having competed against them in three years, they appear to be great kids, two really great competitors," said TCU head coach Trent Johnson of the K-State senior leaders. "Gipson, he's a load in the post, he causes problems. Nino, for him to come out and compete at the level he competes at, that speaks a lot to the kind of kid he is, to the kind of kids... excuse me... men, they both are because that's the way they play."
The Wildcats were down by 10 at halftime, but Williams and Gipson came out strong in the second half. In the first five minutes of the second half, the duo helped K-State score eight quick points, putting K-State within four. 
Though the seniors' effort was a valiant one, it just wasn't enough for the comeback in the end. 
 
"It just seems like we always dig ourselves a hole then we have to fight back to get the lead," said Gipson after last night's game. "Our shots just weren't going in. We weren't getting layups or open three's, and that's what happened. We gave them a 10-0, a 12-0 run, and it's tough when you have to come back from that."
Along with Gipson and Williams, freshman Malek Harris also scored in double figures with a career-high 10 points. 
Last night's game was perhaps the story of the entire 2014-15 season for Kansas State as it was filled with ups and downs. K-State had all the pieces for victory, the team just didn't put the puzzle together. 
"When we were ready to play and we played with great emotion and intensity. We could beat anybody in the country, and we showed it," said Weber as he reflected back over his first losing season with the Wildcats. "But, with the injuries, we didn't have the depth, and then, I've used the word 'maturity' all year. We just didn't have the maturity to focus and be ready to play every game."
Last night's loss knocked the Wildcats out of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship while the Horned Frogs will go on to face No. 1-seed Kansas tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
"I'm just sad that it's over," concluded Gipson. "It happened so quick. Right now, I'm just reflecting on everything that I've done these past four years. I feel like I've had a great career here, and, I mean, as far as the game, I'm just happy that we didn't give in. We put up a fight to the end."
For stats, quotes, photos and more from last night's game, please click here
 

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