Just as quickly as the Kansas State Wildcats got back in the game with a first-half surge, they saw it slip through their fingers in the second period.
The Wildcats erased a 10-point deficit to lead at the half and had a one-point advantage with under seven minutes to play when TCU went on a lethal 15-1 run to hand them their fifth straight loss, 68-57, Saturday at Schollmaier Arena, Fort Worth, Texas.
TCU, which improved to 14-11, 5-7 in the Big 12, ended a six-game losing streak while K-State fell to 9-16 and 2-10.
Long-range shooting was the difference for TCU, which knocked down 15 of 33 3-pointers in the game, while K-State managed just two on 12 attempts.
"Especially in the gut-check part of the game, they made three in a row or so," K-State coach Bruce Weber said of the 3-pointers during his postgame radio show. "It was like a one-point game and we were right there.
"We didn't have a very good start, battled back, took the lead before halftime. Probably not a great start to the second half, either, but again we came back, took the lead, and it went very fast, the change, because it was a one-point game, two-point game, and all of a sudden it was an eight-point game."
The Wildcats led 52-51 on a Xavier Sneed basket with 6:48 left, but from there it was all TCU. Desmond Bane's 3-pointer put the Horned Frogs in front for good, 54-52, at the 6:30 mark, and after Mike McGuirl missed a layup for K-State, PJ Fuller converted a three-point play at the other end for a five-point cushion.
Fuller initially was called for a charge, but it was overturned because Antonio Gordon's foot bas on the line in the arc under the basket. Jaire Grayer then knocked down another 3-pointer, and with 4:45 left stretched it to 61-52 by hitting the first of two free throws.
Gordon's free throw with 3:25 left briefly stopped the bleeding, but Francisco Farabello answered with two foul shots and a 3-pointer to complete the run to make it 66-53.
"Credit to them," Weber said. "The first time we played them, they hit five threes under three seconds (on the shot clock) and I don't know how many today, but it was several again.
"I don't know what you can do. A couple of defensive mistakes where we allowed them to get open threes, but a lot of times we played pretty good defense and they just made tough shots, and that was probably the difference in the game."
TCU made nine second-half 3-pointers and also hit 7 of 9 free throws, while K-State went 6 for 12 from the line in the period, including the front ends of two one-and-one opportunities by Sneed in the last 4 1/2 minutes.
Bane had 17 points, including five 3-pointers, and eight rebounds to lead TCU. Grayer and R.J. Nembhard added 15 each points each.
Sneed had 15 points, David Sloan 11 and Cartier Diarra 10 for K-State. Makol Mawien grabbed nine rebounds.
"(Sneed) did a nice job of keeping us in the game, but again, 3 for 8 from the free-throw line and 0 for 4 from three," Weber said of Sneed, who had been mired in a shooting slump but was 6 of 12 overall from the field. "I thought Cartier really gave us a good effort and then he goes down — you figure that out."
Diarra took a shot to the chin with 15:45 left and headed to the locker room for stitches. He returned at the 6:52 mark, just before Sneed gave the Wildcats their last lead.
K-State closed the first half on a 13-2 run to erase a 10-point deficit and lead 27-26 at the break.
TCU raced to an early 12-4 lead and stretched it to 21-12 with 7:25 left in the half on back-to-back 3-pointers from Farabello and Grayer. The Frogs got it to double figures, 24-14, on another Grayer three at the 5:29 mark, but that's when the K-State stormed back.
Mawien started it with a layup, Sneed knocked down a jumper and Diarra drained a pair of free throws. Sloan's three-point play off a TCU turnover cut it to one with 2:48 left in the half, and he tacked on another basket on a drive from the left wing to give the Wildcats their first lead, 25-24.
After Sneed completed the run with a long jumper, Kevin Samuel jammed home a lob pass for TCU to close out the scoring.
Sloan, who replaced Diarra in the starting lineup, had seven points at the half for K-State, with Diarra adding six off the bench. Grayer had nine points on three 3-pointers and Bane five to lead TCU.
The Horned Frogs made six 3-pointers in the half to none for K-State, but turned the ball over 10 times to just five for the Wildcats.