Thomas Gipson knew he didn't play very well last season when he traveled home for Kansas State's game at TCU, and he admits he was a little anxious for Tuesday night's game, too.
But with 24 family members cheering him on, Gipson had 19 points and eight rebounds, and No. 25 Kansas State ran its winning streak to 10 games with a 65-47 victory over TCU.
"I feel like the freshman and the young guys were anxious," Gipson said. "I mean, I was kind of anxious, too, because I was at home and I wanted to make plays."
The TCU campus is about 30 miles from where Gipson played at Cedar Hill High School southwest of Dallas, and last season Gipson managed just four points, one rebound and two turnovers in Kansas State's 67-54 win.
This time, Gipson had three dunks and was a key cog in the middle.
"I don't think we did handle him — for the most part he had his way with us," TCU forward Amric Fields said of Gipson. "We had problems with him all night."
The Wildcats (12-3, 2-0 Big 12), who made their way into the Top 25 for the first time this season on Monday, played their first true road game of the season. But it didn't seem to faze them. Kansas State had its highest shooting percentage of the season both overall (52.5 percent) and from 3-point range (46.7 percent).
"When we were patient, we were able to exploit them and get it to Thomas (Gipson) and then Marcus Foster in the second half," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said.
Foster, a freshman playing about 120 miles from his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas, added 16 points for the Wildcats. The reigning Big 12 newcomer of the week hit two 3-pointers in a one-minute span late in the second half that helped put the game out of reach.
"He's so consistent and he's so focused for a young guy," Weber said. "He made big shots for us where we were dying there in the second half."
Fields scored 14 points and Kyan Anderson added 12 for TCU (9-5, 0-2), which trailed 31-21 at halftime.
The Horned Frogs used a 10-2 run to get within 36-33 with 13:45 to play, but Kansas State responded with a 9-3 run — keyed by a wide-open 3-pointer by Shane Southwell — and the Wildcats' lead wouldn't dip below seven points for the rest of the game.
TCU, which is 6-1 this season when out-rebounding its opponent, were pounded on the glass with Kansas State finishing with a 37-21 advantage.
"We had shots," TCU coach Trent Johnson said. "When the ball doesn't go down it shouldn't affect the way you play on the other end. They had 18 turnovers but it didn't affect the way they played on the other end. What does that say? They're a mentally tough team."
Powerful dunks by Gipson and Wesley Iwundu gave Kansas State a 20-10 lead with less than 6 minutes to play in the first half. TCU's next possession ended with a layup by Jarvis Ray and that ended a span of just three points in nearly 11 minutes for the Horned Frogs.
The Wildcats went ahead 31-17 with 1:12 to play on a dunk by Gipson, but Anderson's layup made it 31-21 as time expired in the first half.