A battle of two Top 10 defensive teams proved to be every bit as advertised, as Kansas State’s second-half rally fell short in a 63-57 loss to No. 11/11 Texas Tech before a packed house at United Supermarkets Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Down by as many as 16 points, K-State (10-4, 0-2 Big 12) closed to with 43-42 on a 3-pointer by senior Barry Brown, Jr., with 6:56 remaining. However, Texas Tech got a 3-pointer from leading scorer Davide Moretti on the next possession that ignited a 7-0 run that gave the Red Raider a cushion the rest of the way.
The Wildcats continued their struggles on the offensive end, missing their first 13 field goals and finishing with 57 points on 33.3 percent (19-of-57) shooting from the field, including 17.4 percent (4-of-23) against one of the nation’s toughest defenses. The team has now failed to eclipse 60 points in 3 consecutive games.
Brown was joined in double figures by sophomore Cartier Diarra (11) and junior Makol Mawien (10), who also finished with a career-best 11 rebounds to earn his first career double-double.
Moretti’s game-high 19 points led a balanced offensive attack by the Red Raiders, who have now won 26 of their last 27 games at United Supermarkets Arena, including 10 straight victories. In all, five different players scored at least 9 points, including 14 points from graduate transfer Matt Mooney.
Texas Tech connected on 44.7 percent (17-of-38), including 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from 3-point range.
The Red Raiders have now won 6 of the last 8 meetings in the series, including 5 straight victories at home.
The Wildcats were without senior Dean Wade for the fifth consecutive game, while senior Kamau Stokes did not start but came off the bench after missing Wednesday’s game with Texas due to injury. Stokes played 21 minutes, posting 7 points on 3-of-8 field goals, including 1-of-5 from long range.
The game was officiated with just 2 referees for most of the second half after an injury to Rick Crawford.