MANHATTAN, Kan. – No. 13/11 Texas Tech broke open a tight contest with a 15-3 run midway through the second half to lift the Red Raiders to a 73-62 win over Kansas State on Saturday afternoon in front of a limited capacity crowd of 1,000 at Bramlage Coliseum.
With the score knotted at 32-all less than 4 minutes into the second half, redshirt freshman Tyreek Smith ignited the pivotal run by Texas Tech (14-5, 6-4 Big 12) with a 3-pointer at the 16:03 mark. After Wildcat freshman Davion Bradford made a free throw to close the gap to 35-33, sophomore Kevin McCullar started a stretch of 9 consecutive points by the Red Raiders with a second consecutive triple to push the lead to 44-33.
Junior Mac McClung, who led all scorers with 23 points, had 4 quick points on a pair of free throws and a fast-break layup before a third 3-pointer during the span, this time, by junior Kyler Edwards capped the 15-3 run and gave Texas Tech a 47-35 lead with just 12 minutes to play.
K-State (5-15, 1-10 Big 12) continued to battle, closing to within 6 on 4 occasions, including 63-57 on freshman Nijel Pack’s fourth 3-pointer of the game with 2:20 to play. However, Tech responded with back-to-back layups from graduate transfer Marcus Santos-Silva and McClung to stay out ahead and win its third in a row.
With the win, the Red Raiders swept the season series for the second consecutive season and won back-to-back games in Bramlage Coliseum for the first time since 2005 and 2007.
McClung, who scored his game-high 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting, was joined in double figures by McCullar (15) and Edwards (13), while Santos-Silva added 6 points, 6 rebounds and a game-tying 5 assists.
Overall, Texas Tech connected on 47.1 percent (24-of-51) from the field, including 50 percent (10-of-20) from the 3-point range. The Red Raiders had 18 assists on 24 made field goals and turned it over just 10 times.
Senior Mike McGuirl and Pack led K-State in scoring for the second straight game with 16 points each, while McGuirl dished out a game-tying 5 assists and 2 steals and Pack grabbed a season-best 7 rebounds. Pack was limited to just 28 minutes due to foul problems, finishing 5-of-7 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. It marked the fourth time that the freshman has knocked down at least 4 treys in a game this season. His 38 3-pointers already tie for the sixth-most by a freshman in school history.
Redshirt sophomore Kaosi Ezeagu also scored in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-6 field goals and 2-of-3 free throws – marking the first time he had double-digit points in a Big 12 game – while fellow sophomore Antonio Gordon grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds to go with 4 points and 2 blocks.
K-State had one of its better shooting performances, connecting on 45.5 percent (20-of-44) from the field, including 45 percent (9-of-20) from 3-point range, but it struggled from the free throw line, making just 13 of 22 attempts (59.1 percent). It was the highest field goal percentage since hitting on 49.1 percent (27-of-55) in the first matchup with Texas Tech on January 5.
K-State played without sophomore starter DaJuan Gordon for the second consecutive game. He is the eighth player to miss at least one game this season. With Gordon out, the Wildcats once again started three true freshmen (Davion Bradford, Selton Miguel and Nijel Pack) for the ninth time, including the sixth in Big 12 play.
The Wildcats have now lost 10 in a row, including 9 in Big 12 play.
Texas Tech broke a 14-all with consecutive 3-pointers from freshman Chibuzo Agbo and sophomore Kevin McCullar with just over 5 minutes to play in the first half. Although K-State was able to close to within 26-25 on a 3-pointer by senior Mike McGuirl with 1:06 to play, the Red Raiders finished off the half with buckets from junior Mac McClung and sophomore Clarence Nadolny to take a 30-25 lead into halftime.
The 15-3 run over a 4-minute stretch in the second half proved to be difference for Texas Tech. Tied at 32-all, the Red Raiders scored 12 of the next 13 points, including 3-pointers from Tyreek Smith and McCullar. A third triple by junior Kyler Edwards continued the streak and gave the Red Raiders a 47-35 lead with just under 12 play.
PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Senior Mike McGuirl scored in double figures for the fourth time in 5 games with 16 points on 5-of-15 field goals, including 4-of-11 from 3-point range, to go with a game-high 5 assists and 2 steals in 40 minutes. It marked the second time this season that he has played all 40 minutes.
Freshman Nijel Pack registered double-digit points for the sixth consecutive game with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a 4-of-5 effort from 3-point range. He added a season-high 7 rebounds to go with his 2 assists but turned the ball over a season-high 6 times.
STAT OF THE GAME
18 – Texas Tech forced K-State into 18 turnovers, resulting 13 points. While the Wildcats were able to score 13 points off 10 Red Raiders miscues, they were held to 7 less field goals attempts.
IN THEIR WORDS
K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the game…
“It’s been a long, long year. A lot of things haven’t gone our way. After Kansas, I just begged and pleaded with them that we gotta come and fight. If we didn’t fight against this team that is very, very tough and physical, they were going to kick our butts. To our guys’ credit, they rose up today. I was proud to be their coach. They competed. They fought. They gave us a chance. Obviously, we’re not perfect, but they gave us a chance. Antonio (Gordon) played 40 minutes. He was leader on the play hard and had nine rebounds and tried to guard. We made a couple mistakes defensively down the stretch. I probably played those guys too many minutes, but you don’t have much choice with guys that are out. I’m happy with them. We defended. We showed some video of Barry, Dean and Kam’s group on how they guarded. I think it got their attention and made them realize how intense you have to be, how you have to be in a stance, how you have to be in help, how you have to help each other. Obviously, I’d like to win for them, because it’s been hard and they’ve kept fighting. We had foul trouble and we even overcame that. Kyler Edwards played in the Final Four, 3-for-4 from three. Kevin McCullar is just a winner, 3-for-4 from three but the big ones were the other guys. Tyreek Smith had a three. (Chibuzo) Agbo came in and hit a three. Clarence (Nadolny) hit one. It was a two, but those are big shots that when you look at the score, those are backbreakers. The only negatives would be the free throws. We had our chances. They’re one of the leading teams in getting the free throw line in the country, and we’ve been one of the worst. We did get it inside. We got into the paint. We got to the line, but we didn’t convert like we needed to. Then the turnovers. Nijel has been so good. I’ve bragged about him constantly, but six turnovers. A few of them, they just got him in a little rush.”
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- K-State is now 5-15 on the season, including 1-10 in Big 12 play… The Wildcats are off to a 1-10 start to league play for the first time since 1999-2000, including 10 straight defeats.
- K-State is now 119-269 all-time against Top 25 opponents, including a 4-7 mark vs. the AP’s No. 11 ranked team… The Wildcats have 12 consecutive losses against ranked teams, including 0-7 this season.
- K-State has lost 12 consecutive games in the month of February dating back to 2019.
- K-State is now 24-20 all-time Texas Tech, including 16-5 at home… The Red Raiders swept the season series for the second consecutive season and earned consecutive wins at Bramlage Coliseum for the first time since 2005 and 2007… Overall, Tech has now won 11 of the last 14 meetings, including an 8-2 mark under head coach Chris Beard.
- The Wildcats’ starting lineup consisted of senior Mike McGuirl, freshman Nijel Pack, freshman Selton Miguel, sophomore Antonio Gordon and freshman Davion Bradford… This is the second time using this lineup and the eighth lineup employed this season… This is the ninth time this season that the Wildcats have started 3 true freshmen… McGuirl has now started all 20 games this season and has the longest current active start streak at 25 games… Pack has started all 16 games in which he has played.
- Sophomore DaJuan Gordon missed his second career game after leaving with an injury against Texas A&M (1/30/21)… He had seen action in all 50 games in his career with 28 starts before missing the Kansas game on Tuesday.
- K-State scored its 62 points on 45.5 percent (20-of-44) shooting, including 45.0 percent (9-of-20) from 3-point range, while connecting on 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the free throw line.
- It was the second-highest field goal percentage of the Big 12 season and the highest since hitting on 49.1 percent (27-of-55) in the first meeting against Texas Tech on Jan. 5.
- Texas Tech hit on 47.1 percent (24-of-51) from the field, including 50 percent (10-of-20) from 3-point range, and made 68.2 percent (15-of-22) from the free throw line.
- Texas Tech led for 36:43, as K-State did not post a lead in a game for the ninth time.
- K-State held the advantage in several specialty categories, including 22-18 edge in points in the paint, 7-3 in second-chance points, 9-8 in fast-break points and 17-16 in bench points.
- K-State held a 32-28 advantage on the boards, including 8 offensive rebounds.
- Texas Tech forced 18 turnovers, converting those into 13 points.
- Texas Tech held a 30-25 lead at halftime which included forcing K-State into 8 turnovers.
- K-State is now 0-14 on the season when trailing at the half.
- Senior Mike McGuirl scored 16 points on 5-of-15 field goals, including 4-of-11 from 3-point range, to go with 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 rebounds in playing all 40 minutes… It marked the second time this season that he has played all 40 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 24 career games, including a team-leading 14 this season… He has led the team in scoring in 8 games this season.
- Freshman Nijel Pack scored 16 points on 5-of-7 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with a season-high 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in 28 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 10 games, including 5 in Big 12 play… It marked the eighth time leading the team in scoring.
- Sophomore Kaosi Ezeagu scored in double figures for the second time, including the first time in Big 12 play, with 10 points on 4-of-6 field goals and a 2-of-3 effort from the free throw line… He was only Wildcat with a positive +/- rating (+8) in the game.
- Sophomore Antonio Gordon grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds to go with 4 points and team-high 2 blocks… He has led the team in rebounding 6 times this year.
K-State concludes its brief 2-game homestand against ranked opponents on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats play host to No. 6/6 Texas (11-5, 5-4 Big 12) at 7 p.m., CT on Big 12 Now. It will be the second meeting between the schools after the Longhorns posted an 82-67 win over the Wildcats at home on Jan. 16. Texas will attempt to sweep the season series for the second year in a row and will its third consecutive game at Bramlage Coliseum.