SHARON ELLMAN - Mike_McGuirl _TCU_KSU_022021.JPG

Kansas State’s Mike McGuirl (00) puts up a floater during Saturday’s game at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. McGuirl scored a game-high 16 points in the Wildcats’ 62-54 win. The victory snapped a 13-game losing streak and marked K-State’s first triumph since Dec. 29.

Down 51-46 with 5:01 to play on the road Saturday, following a 5-0 run from TCU, it appeared Kansas State was heading for yet another loss. A historic one. Its 14th straight, tying the school’s all-time record.

The Wildcats left that mark in the history books, though.

K-State responded to TCU’s 5-0 run by doubling up the hosts — going on a 10-0 spurt of its own — to pull itself off the mat and take a 56-51 lead with 2:34 remaining.

A little more than two minutes (of game time) later: K-State 62, TCU 54.

Game over.

The Wildcats (6-18, 2-13 Big 12), at long last, had their first win of 2021.

“I’m just thrilled for our guys,” K-State head coach Bruce Weber said. “Obviously, it’s been a long stretch. I begged and pleaded for them not to quit. I know we’ve made improvement. It hasn’t shown in wins and losses, but we’ve become a competitive team, where probably at times earlier (in the season), we weren’t. Some of that (is because) we’ve had some continuity (having) the same guys in there. It definitely has helped us.”

The Wildcats’ last victory prior to Saturday was Dec. 29 over Omaha. After that, they lost 13 consecutive outings. Had the Horned Frogs (11-9, 4-7) held serve at home Saturday, K-State would have tied the longest losing streak in school history — a skid nearly 100 years old, when it lost the final five games of the 1921-22 season and the first nine of the 1922-23 campaign.

Now, all of that is in the past.

Snapping the skid was in large part thanks to senior guard Mike McGuirl, who scored a game-high 16 points. He did the majority of his damage in the first half, when he led all scorers with 12 points. He was 5-for-8 from the field, including 2 of 2 on 3-pointers, in the opening 20 minutes.

““It feels really good. I’m really happy for my teammates,” said McGuirl, the Wildcats’ lone senior who will be recognized on senior night Tuesday against Oklahoma. “They deserved it. They’ve been working so hard. They stayed the course. They didn’t stop fighting. A lot of people stepped up today. They’ve stepped up in the past and it hasn’t shown in the win column in some of these games, but my teammates and coaches really deserved this one.”

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