No. 18/19 Texas Tech blew open a tight game with a strong start to the second half, as the Red Raiders posted an 82-71 win over Kansas State on Tuesday night in front of a limited capacity crowd of 3,523 fans at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Texas Tech (9-3, 2-2 Big 12) took the momentum from sophomore Terrence Shannon, Jr’s shot at the buzzer to end the first half and carried it into a strong start in the second half, building as much as 17-point lead.
After ending the half on an 8-2 run, the Red Raiders scored 22 of the first 32 points coming out of the locker room to take a commanding 58-41 lead with just 12 minutes to play. Six different players during this pivotal stretch, which included 7 from Shannon, who ended with a game-high 22 points off the bench.
K-State (5-7, 1-3 Big 12) twice closed the deficit to 7 points down the stretch, including after a dunk by freshman Seryee Lewis with 6:11 to play. However, Lewis was whistled for a technical after the dunk, which ignited 6 straight points by Tech and put the game back into double figures at 71-58 just over a minute later.
The Wildcats did close to 78-71 after a 3-pointer by senior Mike McGuirl with just under 40 seconds to play, but the Red Raiders finished it off from the line, making 4 of their last 6 free throws for the 82-71 win.
Texas Tech, which hit on 45.3 percent (24-of-53) of its field goals, did take advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, outscoring K-State by 21 points (30-9). The Red Raiders converted on 30-of-36 attempts at the line, including 22-of-27 after halftime. The 30 free throws were the most by opponent in head coach Bruce Weber’s 9-year tenure.
Despite the loss, K-State became the first team to eclipse 70 points in regulation against Texas Tech this season, connecting on 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field, including 61.2 percent (19-of-31) from inside the 3-point arc.
Four Wildcats scored in double figures for the second consecutive game led by 17 points each from freshmen Selton Miguel and Nijel Pack, while freshman Davion Bradford and McGuirl chipped in 10 points each. Miguel tied his season-high on 6-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, to go with a game-high 6 assists in 30 minutes, while Pack scored a season-high 17 points on 7-of-11 field goals, including 3-of-7 from long range.
McGuirl had an all-around game with a game-high 8 rebounds to go with 5 assists in nearly 39 minutes. He now has 38 assists in the last 7 games, including his fourth straight game with at least 5 assists.
Shannon was one of three Red Raiders in double-digits with 22 points off the bench on 5-of-9 field goals and a near perfect 11-of-12 effort from the free throw line. Junior Mac McClung and senior Marcus Santos-Silva added 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Due to various reasons, K-State played the game with just 10 available players, including 2 walk-ons. Opening-day starters Kaosi Ezeagu and Montavious Murphy each missed their eighth game of the season, while sophomore reserve Antonio Gordon did not play for the third consecutive game.
The Wildcats have lost 7 in a row to the Red Raiders on the road with their last win coming in 2014.