No. 22 Kansas St beats struggling Texas Tech 69-47By BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press Thursday, Jan 26, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP)—Kansas State coach Frank Martin didn’t mind his Wildcats committing 25 fouls as long as they were as a result of playing aggressive defense.
Martavious Irving scored 16 points and Rodney McGruder had 13 to lead No. 22 Kansas State to a 69-47 victory against Texas Tech on Wednesday night.
“When we play the way we play, we’re going to commit some fouls,” Martin said. “When we’re good defensively we try not to let teams get in rhythm. Offense is all rhythm.”
The Red Raiders remain winless in Big 12 play.
The Wildcats trailed briefly early but pulled away when they started hitting shots. They muscled their way into the lane and outscored Texas Tech 36-20 in the paint.
Irving provided an early spark off the bench.
“I just wanted to provide a spark off the bench, do something that was positive because a lot of things early on wasn’t going too well,” he said. “We were just missing shots, so I just wanted to bring a lot of energy.”
Kansas State (15-4, 4-3 Big 12) pressed on defense, making it difficult for Texas Tech to find passing lanes. That led to a season-high 25 turnovers for the Red Raiders—12 were Kansas State steals—which the Wildcats converted into 27 points. Texas Tech was averaging 17 turnovers coming into the game.
The Wildcats had 17 turnovers, leading to seven points for the Red Raiders.
Freshman Jordan Tolbert scored 18 points to lead Texas Tech (7-12, 0-7).
Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie watched as chances close to the bucket were squandered.
“I have a hard time understanding how a college basketball player can continue to miss layups,” he said. “I mean we missed 13 shots within 4 feet of the basket.”
The Wildcats’ depth hurt the Red Raiders. Bench players contributed more than half of Kansas State’s points (38), while Texas Tech got 13 from its reserves.
Irving said the Red Raiders youth worked in the Wildcats favor.
“Just pressuring teams and getting up in them, that’s what we’ve always been about,” he said.
Just four Texas Tech players scored and only one was not a freshman. The Red Raiders have struggled to get consistent production on offense, and the loss to the Wildcats was no different.
Texas Tech went to a zone defense in the second half and Kansas State had to make adjustments on the perimeter. The Wildcats started making shots, hitting on 12 of 22 in the second half (54 percent).
The closest Texas Tech got in the second half was 49-33 with 11:47 remaining when Luke Adams hit a 3-pointer from the corner and turned it into a four-point play after he was fouled on the shot.
The win was the third straight for the Wildcats, who dropped three of their first four in conference play.
Kansas State missed eight of its first nine shots, but still led 30-21 at half. The Wildcats used a 16-2 run, including six points from Victor Ojeleye, to go up 18-7.
Tech, which gave up 13 points to Kansas State on 14 first-half turnovers, whittled the margin to 23-17 late in the half behind a spark from Kevin Wagner, who finished with a career-high 16 points.