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Kansas State 75, Texas Tech 55

The SportsXchange

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- While they may be on opposite ends of the Big 12 standings, 13th-ranked Kansas State and slumping Texas Tech were in a tight battle for most of Monday's game in Bramlage Coliseum.

The Wildcats were able to pull away for a 75-55 win thanks to key performances from sophomores Thomas Gipson and Nino Williams.

Gipson finished with a season-high 20 points, and Williams contributed 11 points and seven rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench.

Kansas State (23-5, 12-3 Big 12) earned its fourth consecutive win, its eighth victory in nine games. Texas Tech (9-17, 2-13) lost its ninth game in a row.

The Red Raiders opened the second half with a breakaway layup from freshman Josh Gray that was good for a 32-31 lead, and Texas Tech later moved ahead 44-42 on a Jordan Tolbert jumper with 14:19 to go.

Within the next minute, Williams hit a layup and completed a three-point play that put the Wildcats on top for good. Williams scored the game's next nine points, and his had all 11 of his points in an 11-3 run that gave Kansas State some separation.

The Wildcats extended their run to 24-6, ending all suspense.

The Red Raiders were out rebounded 41-20. Texas Tech freshman Dusty Hannahs led his team with 14 points.

A dunk from Kansas State sophomore Adrian Diaz in the final seconds capped the win and brought the purple-clad fans in Bramlage Coliseum to their feet.

Despite opening the game on a 12-4 run, the Wildcats could not hold a lead, and the first half ended with Kansas State leading by a point.

A buzzer-beater shot from Kansas State senior Rodney McGruder enabled the Wildcats to hold a 31-30 advantage at halftime.

Neither team could find the basket in the early going. Gipson put the first points on the board about three minutes into the game.

The Red Raiders struggled early, and back-to-back dunks by McGruder gave the Wildcats an eight-point lead.

But after an 8-3 mini-run from the Red Raiders with 11 minutes left in the first half, the tables were turned as Texas Tech made the Wildcats pay for their offensive mistakes.

K-State committed seven turnovers and went only 1-for-6 from behind the arc in the first half.

Seventeen points from Texas Tech's bench helped get the Red Raiders back in the game. Freshman Jaye Crockett led Texas Tech in the first half with eight points.

Gipson had 10 first-half points.

Kansas State, which remains tied for the Big 12 lead with Kansas, plays at Baylor on Saturday. Texas Tech plays host to TCU on Saturday.

NOTES: Gipson started in place of senior Jordan Henriquez, who is in New York attending his grandmother's funeral. ... Gray was named Big 12 rookie of the week after averaging 23 points in two games last week. He became the eighth Red Raider ever to earn the honor. ... With another snow storm predicted to pound the Midwest, the Kansas State athletics department offered students free admission and fans free parking for the game as a winter promotion.
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