Nowell, No. 12 Kansas State finishes fast, tops No. 17 TCU

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TCU forward Xavier Cork (12) shoots over Kansas State forward David N'Guessan (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Markquis Nowell scored 18 points and No. 12 Kansas State finished strong, snapping a two-game skid by beating No. 17 TCU 82-61 on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats outscored TCU 17-2 to end the game.

Kansas State (19-5, 7-4 Big 12), which lost to TCU earlier this season, moved within a game of first-place Texas in a crowded conference race. The Wildcats are tied with Kansas, a half-game behind Iowa State.

Keyontae Johnson and Desi Sills each had 14 points for Kansas State, Tykei Greene added 13 and David N’Guessan had 10.

TCU (17-7, 6-5) was led by Damion Baugh with 14 points. Micah Peavy and Jakobe Coles each had 11 and Emanuel Miller had 10.

TCU played without preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Mike Miles Jr., who missed his third straight game after hyper-extending his knee Jan. 28 against Mississippi.

Nowell, who spent his first three seasons at Arkansas-Little Rock, hit a short jumper in the first half to record his 1,700th career point. He also passed Steve Henson’s school record with his 187th assist of the season late in the game.

Johnson struggled with foul trouble

Johnson again struggled with foul trouble. He picked up two offensive fouls in the first 10 minutes, after collecting two in the first minute-plus Saturday against Texas. He finished the half with five points, but was limited to 10 minutes of action.

Kansas State TCU

Holding a two-point lead, Kansas State went on a 13-2 run early in the second half to open up a comfortable lead. TCU closed to 65-59 with 4:49 left, but an alley-oop slam by Greene punctuated an 11-0 run that iced the game.

The Wildcats led 36-30 at halftime. They had six turnovers before the break after having 20 in the first game against the Horned Frogs.