"The thing that is disappointing to me is that with six minutes to go it's still a relatively close ball game," Johnson said, "and for whatever reason, we stopped competing. It's really disappointing…we are in a situation now where we have a lot of opportunities ahead of us versus good teams and good players."
Junior forward Amric Fields said he and his teammates have to show the same toughness in games that they show in practice.
"We're soft right now. We're really soft," said Fields who finished with 14 points. "At heart, we're a really tough team…We're tough; we just need to show it. We are kind of in a funk right now."
Kansas State was led by Wichita Falls native Marcus Foster who committed to Kansas State after Johnson and his TCU staff recruited him heavily. After scoring 16 points Tuesday, the Hirschi High School graduate showed why the Frogs wanted him so badly.
TCU went cold from the floor down the stretch as they shot just 35 percent for the game and connected on just two of 16 three point attempts.
Kansas State took advantage of the Frogs thin front court as they outrebounded TCU 37 to 21, and they scored 28 points in the paint. Junior center Thomas Gibson, also a native of Texas, led the Wildcats in scoring with 19 points.
"We have had two opportunities here at home, and we have not competed very well," Johnson said. "Kansas State had 16 assists and 18 turnovers, but it did not affect the way they played at the other end. What does that say? That's a mentally tough team."
"We have to defend. We have to rebound. It's pretty simple," Johnson said. "Leadership to me is 13 guys doing what they are supposed to do. I know when I looked in that huddle in the six minute mark, there was one guy whose head was where it needs to be. That was Brandon Parrish in terms of responding and fighting."
TCU went a stretch in which it scored just three points in 10 minutes, and the Wildcats carried a ten point lead into the locker room.
The second half saw TCU limit the Wildcats offensively at the beginning of the half. As Foster and Gibson were not able to control the game, the Frogs trimmed the Wildcats lead to five.
Karviar Shepherd hit a jump hook in the middle of the land and then hit Amric Fields on the next possession with an over-the-shoulder pass that led to a turnaround jumper.
The Frogs trailed 36-31 but they would get no closer that three points. Marcus Foster used a Thomas Gibson scree with 4:53 to play to hit a three pointer that put the Wildcats up 11. Foster is one of three Kansas State starters from the state of Texas.
TCU kept the game close for 35 minutes before the Wildcats pulled away, but Johnson knows that his Frogs must find a way to overcoming their rebounding disadvantage, and it starts with the players demanding more of themselves.
Freshman Brandon Parrish finished with eight points, and Amric Fields led the Frogs with 14.
Next on the schedule for the Frogs is the Baylor Bears who TCU will face on Saturday in Waco. The Frogs and Bears will tip from the Ferrell Center at 12:30 p.m. The 7th ranked Bears are 11-2.