On a simply wild Saturday in the Big 12, it seems only one of the season’s consistent themes made an appearance.
Texas Tech plays some serious defense.
The 7th-ranked Red Raiders smothered Kansas State’s offense for much of the night Saturday in a 66-47 victory that gave TTU a one-game lead in the league standings.
“They’re one of the top defensive teams in the country,” Bruce Weber said. “They guard differently than a lot of teams. We tried some different schemes, but we just missed shots.”
K-State shot 28.9 percent, including just 26.3 in the second half. The Wildcats’ first basket after halftime came at the 14:30 mark.
A blizzard would have felt warmer.
Dean Wade turned in K-State’s best offensive performance, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Xavier Sneed added nine points. No one else had anything resembling a good outing.
“I thought in the first half, we had some things going,” Weber said. “We had a lot of looks that we didn’t make. Then we started pressing a little bit and turning the ball over.”
The Wildcats opened the game on a 7-0 run and led 11-5 at the first media timeout. Every basket was a struggle after that.
K-State was able to break its slump, at least a little, mid way through the second half. For the first time all night, three straight shots found the net. But TTU answered with a basket of its own after each one of them.
By the 8:00 mark, Tech led by 14.
Keenan Evans led TTU in scoring with 19 points. The rest of Saturday’s results in the Big 12, including a Kansas loss at Baylor, means the Red Raiders have a one-game lead on the rest of the conference with six games remaining.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, fell into a tie for fourth with a road trip to Oklahoma State next on the schedule.