Kansas State University

Kansas State ends conference road losing streak with 63-49 victory at TCU

TCU guard Malique Trent (led) tried to go for a steal against Kansas State guard Barry Brown during the second half Tuesday.
TCU guard Malique Trent (led) tried to go for a steal against Kansas State guard Barry Brown during the second half Tuesday. Fort Worth Star-Telegram via AP

Bruce Weber may have finally found Kansas State’s ideal starting lineup.

The K-State coach has experimented with different player combinations since the Wildcats lost point guard Kamau Stokes to an injured right knee last month, experiencing mixed results with new groups in four of the past five games. But he hit pay dirt during a 63-49 victory over TCU on Tuesday night at Schollmaier Arena.

With Barry Brown, Justin Edwards, Wesley Iwundu, Dean Wade and D.J. Johnson on the floor, K-State made shots from all over and raced to an early lead. It attacked the Horned Frogs’ man defense and maintained a comfortable advantage the whole way.

The result was a much-needed victory that ended a 13-game losing streak in Big 12 road games dating back to January 2015. For the first time in more than a year, Weber walked off a conference rival’s court sporting a smile.

Edwards incorrectly proclaimed it to be the first road win of his K-State career when it was actually his third.

“It had been so long that I forgot we ever won one,” he said.

Pairing Brown and Edwards in the backcourt made all the difference. They are both athletic and able to create off the dribble. Together, they maximize K-State’s scoring potential.

“It just helps relieve a little pressure when we are trying to fight to get baskets,” Weber said. “Instead of me scripting every little thing, we are able to let them make some plays. Tonight it was just basketball. Penetrate, kick it, swing it, make different reads.

“When those two guys are making things happen and letting the game come to them …”

Weber didn’t finish his thought, but he didn’t have to. The results spoke for themselves.

Edwards, a senior guard, replaced junior-college transfer Carlbe Ervin in the starting lineup and made an instant impact. He came off ball screens and attacked the basket for a game-high 17 points, building on a recent string of quality play. Edwards has reached double figures in four straight games.

His production created loads of space for Brown, and he took advantage by making four three-pointers on his way to 16 points.

Wade, a freshman forward, also benefited inside. He showed renewed confidence with the ball, making a three and scoring 14 points.

“We just had a lot of emotion,” Brown said. “A lot of, I don’t even know the word for it. I think we were just hyped for the game. Maybe TCU won’t be the biggest game we play, but we were still pretty hyped before the game. Everyone was ready, everyone was yelling before the game. That just carried over.”

Weber questioned his players after losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State, saying they lacked emotion. They also lacked offense, scoring 55 points in 45 minutes against the Cowboys and falling way behind against the Bears.

He seemed to single out Ervin following the Oklahoma State loss, saying the team needed more from him if he hoped to continue as the starting point guard. TCU held him scoreless.

Changing lineups wasn’t enough to snap K-State out of the slump in those games, but that changed against the Horned Frogs.

The Wildcats proved things would be different from the get go. They scored eight straight to take an 8-2 lead at the first media timeout, and pulled ahead by as much as 26-11. It wasn’t an offensive masterpiece, but it was a step in the right direction.

“We had to come at them. That was going to be important,” Weber said. “We came at them. We were the aggressor to start the game. They made a couple runs, but we always had an answer.”

With Brown, Edwards and Iwundu combining to make five of their first six from three-point range, TCU coach Trent Johnson had no choice but to call timeout and search for answers. Many teams have thwarted K-State by going zone, but TCU stuck with a man defense most of the way.

“I thought this was a good matchup for us,” Johnson said, “but I also knew if we didn’t come to play we could have problems, and we did.”

With the win, K-State improved to 15-11 overall and 4-9 in the Big 12 and gained sole possession of eighth place in the conference standings. It also matched its victory total from last year with five games remaining in the regular season. TCU, 11-15 and 2-11, remained in last.

Up next for K-State is a pair of home games against No. 2 Kansas and No. 24 Texas.

KANSAS STATE 63, TCU 49

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

K-State

Min

FG-A

FT-A

O-R

A

PF

PT

Johnson

16

2-3

0-1

2-3

0

4

4

Iwundu

31

1-10

2-3

0-6

3

2

5

Wade

31

4-10

5-6

3-5

1

2

14

Brown

36

6-9

0-2

1-5

2

1

16

Edwards

36

5-10

6-7

1-4

3

2

17

Budke

23

0-3

3-6

1-2

1

3

3

Ervin II

18

0-2

0-0

3-5

3

1

0

Hurt

9

1-2

2-4

1-4

0

4

4

TEAM

   

3-6

   

Totals

200

19-49

18-29

15-40

13

19

63

Percentages: FG .388, FT .621. Three-Point Goals: 7-15, .467 (Brown 4-6, Edwards 1-2, Wade 1-3, Iwundu 1-4). Blocked Shots: 7 (Iwundu 3, Edwards 2, Ervin II, Budke). Turnovers: 18 (Brown 5, Edwards 3, Johnson 3, Hurt 2, Ervin II 2, Budke, Iwundu, team). Steals: 12 (Wade 4, Edwards 3, Iwundu 2, Budke, Hurt, Johnson). Technical Fouls: None. Fouled Out: None.

TableStyle: SP-bkwideplayersCCI Template: SP-bkwideplayers

TCU

Min

FG-A

FT-A

O-R

A

PF

PT

Abron

22

0-4

6-8

4-8

0

3

6

Washburn

16

0-1

0-2

0-2

1

3

0

Collins

34

3-13

2-2

0-3

0

1

9

Trent

30

4-8

2-7

2-7

2

4

11

Parrish

36

1-8

2-2

1-3

2

2

4

M. Williams

20

0-0

0-0

0-1

2

2

0

Miller

18

3-7

2-2

2-4

0

3

9

Brodziansky

16

4-4

0-0

1-1

0

4

8

Shepherd

8

1-4

0-1

1-1

0

1

2

TEAM

   

1-1

   

Totals

200

16-49

14-24

12-31

7

23

49

Percentages: FG .327, FT .583. Three-Point Goals: 3-16, .188 (Miller 1-3, Trent 1-3, Collins 1-7, Shepherd 0-1, Parrish 0-2). Blocked Shots: 8 (Washburn 3, Parrish 2, Abron 2, Brodziansky). Turnovers: 19 (Brodziansky 4, Trent 4, Miller 3, Parrish 3, team 2, M. Williams, Washburn, Collins). Steals: 5 (Miller 2, Trent, Abron, Collins). Technical Fouls: None. Fouled Out: None.

Half: Kansas State 35-24. Attendance: 4,999. Officials: Gary Maxwell, James Breeding, Bert Smith.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett

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