MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — D.J. Johnson had 19 points in his final game at Bramlage Coliseum, helping Kansas State to a 61-48 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday and giving the Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament hopes a boost.
Fellow senior Wesley Iwundu added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats (19-12, 8-10), who also snapped a four-game home skid and locked up the No. 6 seed for next week’s Big 12 Tournament.
That means Kansas State will have a first-round bye for the first time in three years.
Texas Tech (18-13, 6-12) may have had its own NCAA Tournament hopes dumped with its ninth straight road defeat. The Red Raiders haven’t won back-to-back games since December.
Keenan Evans and Niem Stevenson led them with 11 points apiece.
Kansas State controlled the game most of the entire way, opening with a 9-0 run and then answering a 16-2 spurt by Texas Tech with a 17-3 run over nearly eight minutes midway through the first half.
The Wildcats eventually pushed a 34-22 halftime lead to 17 points on a couple of occasions in the second half. Johnson was the biggest factor, getting loose inside for a couple easy baskets.
Their defense helped, too. Texas Tech had four shot-clock violations in the first half alone.
Texas Tech closed the gap to 12 a couple of times in the second half, but turnovers and faulty shooting prevented the Red Raiders from ever making it a game.