MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNW) — After not finding the win column since Jan. 1, the K-State Wildcats found a way to win against the red-hot, 19th ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Nigel Pack was the leading scorer for the team with 14 on 5-of-14 shooting, with Mark Smith (12) and Mike McGuirl (10) right behind him in double figures.
The real story of the game was the defense. The Wildcats forced 18 turnovers on a Texas Tech team that has seen upsets against No. 6 Kansas and No. 1 Baylor in recent weeks. They also forced the Red Raiders to 39.6% shooting from the field, and 23.5% from three.
The game started out well for the Wildcats, taking an 11-3 lead right out of the gate. But things would cool off quickly, going almost four minutes without scoring, and seeing their lead dwindle away until it became a 26-18 deficit for Bruce Weber’s team.
Weber would rally his troops, however, and go on an 8-2 run to close the Red Raider lead to two heading into the locker room.
Coming out in the second half, the Wildcats played scrappy defense and kept Texas Tech from going on any kind of scoring run to gain separation.
The Wildcat defense would not allow the deficit to grow past three, and with 13:12 left in the game, Luke Kasubke would drill a three off of a pass by Markquis Nowell that would give the Wildcats the lead.
The Wildcats would not surrender that lead for the rest of the game, and would finish the game on a 12-2 run that would give the Wildcats their strongest victory of the season.
The win puts the Wildcats at 9-7 on the season and gives them their first win in conference play.
Up next, the Wildcats will look to carry their momentum on the road in Austin, where they will take on currently No. 21 Texas. That game will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. and will air on the Longhorn Network.