MANHATTAN, Kan. – No. 23/23 Texas Tech broke open a 48-all tie with a 13-2 run midway through the second half, as the Red Raiders kept Kansas State winless in Big 12 play with a 77-63 win over the Wildcats on Tuesday night before 7,327 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
The loss spoiled yet another valiant comeback effort by K-State, which rallied from a 15-point first half deficit to take a 46-45 lead with 13:24 to play behind a 9-0 run. Freshman Montavious Murphy played a pivotal role in the run, scoring 5 consecutive points before a layup by junior Cartier Diarra gave the Wildcats the lead.
Texas Tech (11-5, 2-2 Big 12) started its decisive 13-2 run with 7 consecutive points, including 4 in a row from redshirt freshman Kevin McCullar, and was capped by a 3-pointer from sophomore Kyler Edwards with 10:22 remaining. After a basket by Diarra closed it to 55-50 with just under 10 to play, the Red Raiders rattled off 6 more in a row to push it back into double figures at 61-50 with 7:13 to go.
The Wildcats (7-9, 0-4 Big 12) again rallied to within 62-56 after a layup by freshman DaJuan Gordon off a missed free throw by Diarra at the 4:51 mark, but they could get no closer, as the Red Raiders responded with 7 in a row to push it back to double digits at 69-56 with 3:31 remaining.
Edwards led all players with 24 points on 9-of-14 field goals, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, while junior Davide Moretti chipped in 14 points on 3-of-6 field goals (all from 3-point range) and a 5-of-6 effort from the free throw line. Freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey and McCullar each added 10 points.
K-State was led by 19 points from junior Cartier Diarra, who connected on 7-of-11 from the field, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, while senior Xavier Sneed and Murphy added 14 and 11 points, respectively. It was Murphy’s first career double-digit scoring effort, who went a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
Both teams connected on 47.2 percent of its field goals, but Texas Tech took advantage of 20 K-State turnovers to post 30 of its 77 points. The 30 points off turnovers tied for the most by an opponent under head coach Bruce Weber and the most since Kansas also had 30 points on Feb. 3, 2016.
The teams were whistled for a combined 46 personal fouls and attempted 60 free throws. The Wildcats hit on 73.5 percent (25-of-34) of their free throw attempts compared to 76.9 percent (20-of-26) from the Red Raiders.
The loss dropped K-State to winless after 4 conference games for the first time since 2008-09.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It was a game of runs in the early going, as Texas Tech opened with a 10-0 run, which was capped by a rare 4-point play by junior Davide Moretti at the 16:34 mark. During this opening stretch, K-State missed its first 3 field goals, had 2 turnovers and was called for four personal fouls.
The Wildcats responded after the first media timeout with a 7-0 run of their own, keyed by the play of junior reserve David Sloan, who registered a pair of steals to go with 3 points.
A 3-pointer by sophomore Kyler Edwards at the 12:41 mark ignited an 8-0 run by the Red Raiders that extended the lead to 18-7 run midway through the first half.
Diarra scored all 7 points in a 7-2 spurt by K-State that closed the gap to 20-14 at the third media timeout of the first half at the 7:52 mark. The run was started by a Diarra 3-pointer with 9:19 remaining.
Texas Tech was able to take advantage from the free throw line over the next few minutes, knocking down 6-of-8 from the line to extend the lead to 28-15 with 5:48 before halftime. During the stretch, head coach Bruce Weber was called for technical on a controversial charge call. The Red Raiders continued to push the lead, as back-to-back baskets extended the advantage to 32-17 and forced Weber to call his first timeout at the 4:23 mark.
The timeout seemed to work in the Wildcats’ favor, as the team scored 5 of 6 from the free throw line followed by 3-pointers from Sloan and senior Xavier Sneed to close the deficit to 32-28 with 1:17 to play. However, the Red Raiders pushed back out ahead on a 3-pointer by Moretti and an Edwards jumper to lead 37-30 at the break.
Both teams connected on better than 47 percent in the first half, as Texas Tech connected on 47.8 percent (11-of-23), including 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from 3-point range, while K-State hit on 47.1 percent (8-of-17), including 37.5 percent (3-of-8) from long range. In a half where the teams were whistled for a combined 23 personal fouls, the Red Raiders were 10-of-12 from the line, while the Wildcats knocked down 11-of-16 attempts.
Edwards led all scorers with 13 points in the opening half, while Diarra had 10 for K-State.
Much like the first half, the opening moments of the second half were a game of runs.
The Wildcats scored the first 4 points, including an and-1 from junior Levi Stockard III, to close to one possession at 37-35. The Red Raiders responded with 6 in a row to push it back out to 43-35 with 17:19 to play.
After the teams traded baskets, Sneed started a 9-0 run that gave K-State its first lead at 46-45 with 13:24 remaining. During the stretch, freshman Montavious Murphy scored 5 consecutive points.
Texas Tech regained the lead on a Chris Clarke jumper and a Kevin McCullar free throw, but Diarra tied at 48-all with 11:42 to play. However, the Red Raiders got the edge they needed with 7 quick points to again push the game back out at 55-48 at 10:22 mark. The run was 13-2 after a bucket by Edwards that extended it back to double figures at 61-50 with 7:13 remaining.
Two free throws by Murphy and a layup by DaJuan Gordon on Diarra missed free throw closed the deficit to 62-56 with 4:51 to play, but that was the closest it would get the rest of the way, as Texas Tech scored 7 consecutive points, including a 3-pointer from Moretti, to again get back into double figures at 69-56 with 3:31 remaining.
K-State connected on 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from the field in the second half, including 16.7 percent (1-of-6) from 3-point range, while Texas Tech hit on 46.7 percent (14-of-30), including 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from long range. Edwards led all scorers with 11 points after halftime, while Diarra and Murphy had 9 points each for the Wildcats.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Junior Cartier Diarra scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-11 field goals, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, in a career-tying 37 minutes. It marked the seventh time this season leading the team in scoring.
Freshman Montavious Murphy scored in double figures for the first time in his career with 11 points, including a 9-of-9 effort from the free throw line to go with a game-high 6 rebounds in 25 minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME
30 – Texas Tech tied a Bruce Weber era high for an opponent with 30 points off 20 K-State turnovers. It tied the mark of 30 by Kansas on Feb. 3, 2016.
IN THEIR WORDS
K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the game…
“It was points off turnovers. They got 30. Obviously, they had 16 turnovers and we got 20, but if you take out the spot where we did not score and us fouling at the end, it is probably an 8 to 10-point game. Our guys, they care in the locker room, and obviously they are frustrated. We are trying to play a little undermanned and with some youth. Our older guys have not given us the efficiency and consistency that we need. We were down 15, then pushed it and were able to take a lead in the second half. Credit to them. They only had three turnovers, and they capitalized on their offensive rebounds and tip-ins. I told our guys I wanted them to have passion, and I think they did. One of the problems is Texas Tech does so many different things on defense that we can’t script everything they are going to do. They switched everything to start the game, which really put us into a bind. Then we adjusted with the ball. The poor start to the game is what we could not overcome. We did some good things to catch up, but every time it gets to the point where we need a couple plays, we don’t do it.”
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- K-State is 0-4 to start Big 12 play for the first time since 2008-09.
- K-State now leads the all-time series, 24-17, with Texas Tech, including 16-4 at home and 12-4 at Bramlage Coliseum… The Wildcats hold a narrow 17-16 edge in the Big 12 era.
- The Wildcats’ starting lineup consisted of junior Cartier Diarra, freshman DaJuan Gordon, senior Xavier Sneed, freshman Montavious Murphy and senior Makol Mawien… This was the first time using this lineup and the fourth different lineup used this season.
- K-State started two true freshmen (DaJuan Gordon and Montavious Murphy) for the first time since playing No. 1/1 Kansas in the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on March 10, 2016… Those freshmen were Barry Brown, Jr., and Dean Wade.
- K-State has now started at least one true freshman (A. Gordon or Murphy) in 14 of 15 games this season.
- Sneed has now played in 121 career games, including 88 starts (49 consecutive)… Mawien has played and started in every game in his career, which now stretches to 87… Diarra has now played in 79 games, including 47 starts (18 consecutive)… This was the ninth career game and eighth start for Murphy… It was the first career start from DaJuan Gordon.
- Junior David Sloan was the first player off the bench.
- Junior Mike McGuirl missed the game due to injury (concussion).
- The 77 points marked a season-high for an opponent, surpassing the 73 by Marquette (12/7/19).
- The teams combined for 50 points off turnovers with Texas Tech scoring 30 points off 20 K-State turnovers and the Wildcats scoring 20 points off 16 Red Raiders turnovers… The 30 points off turnovers matched the high for the Bruce Weber era (30 by Kansas on Feb. 3, 2016).
- The teams shot an identical 47.2 percent from the field (Texas Tech/25-of-53) (K-State/17-of-36)… The Red Raiders hit on 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from deep, while the Wildcats shot 28.6 percent (4-of-14).
- The teams also combined for 46 personal fouls and 60 free throw attempts… K-State connected on 73.5 percent (25-of-34) from the free throw line.
- Texas Tech edged K-State in rebounds (31-23) and steals (10-5).
- Texas Tech led for more than 38 minutes (38:31), while K-State led for under 1 minute (0:41).
- K-State trailed 37-30 at halftime after cutting down Texas Tech’s lead from 13.
- Junior Cartier Diarra led the way with 19 points on 7-of-11 field goals, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, in a career-tying 37 minutes… It marked the eighth time leading the team in scoring, including the seventh this season… He has now scored in double figures in 27 career games, including 10 this season.
- Senior Xavier Sneed scored 14 points on 3-of-8 field goals, including 1-of-4 from 3-point range, and a 7-of-9 effort from the free throw line in 36 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 65 career games, including 12 this season… He has now scored in double figures in 9 of the last 11 games.
- Freshman Montavious Murphy scored in double figures for the first time with 11 points on 1-of-2 field goals and a 9-of-9 effort from the free throw line… He also added a team-high 6 rebounds in 25 minutes.
- Junior David Sloan led the bench with 8 points on 3-of-7 field goals, including 1-of-3 from 3-point range in 24 minutes.
K-State returns home to Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday afternoon when the Wildcats play host to 12/13 West Virginia (14-2, 3-1 Big 12) at 1 p.m., CT on ESPNU.
Source: Kansas State Sports