Texas Tech began conference play just over a week ago with an offensive explosion and its most lopsided victory ever in a Big 12 contest, but both points and wins have been in short supply since. The 23rd-ranked Red Raiders hope to avoid tying a season high with their third straight loss Tuesday when they visit Kansas State in a battle between last year's co-regular season conference champions.
Looking every bit like the team that just missed out on winning a national title last spring despite returning only one starter, Texas Tech shot 54.5 percent while holding Oklahoma State to 28.8 percent from the field in an 85-50 rout of the Cowboys on Jan. 4. The Red Raiders have been much less fortunate in their last two games against the conference's top two scoring defenses, however, as No. 2 Baylor knocked them off at home three days later 57-52 and No. 13 West Virginia handed them their largest defeat of the season in Morgantown on Saturday (66-54). The Wildcats overcame weather delays and mechanical issues with the team's charter flight Saturday to hang with Texas in the first half, but a 20-2 run spanning both halves proved to be the difference in a 64-50 loss to the Longhorns. "The travel issues are no excuse for how we played tonight. ... I thought the biggest thing was how physical Texas was defensively and it really rattled our guys and we didn't keep our poise," coach Bruce Weber said afterward.
TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: No TV
ABOUT TEXAS TECH (10-5, 1-2 Big 12): Davide Moretti (13.0 points) was the only Red Raider who took more than two shots that was able to convert at least half of his tries, as the 6-3 sharpshooter tallied 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting - including 4-of-8 beyond the arc. Aside from Moretti, the rest of the Red Raiders went 15-of-56 from the floor, including leading scorer Jahmi'us Ramsey, who finished with eight points on 3-of-15 from the field. "We had some game plan stuff we wanted to get to, but game plans kind of go out the door when you can't score. ... You can't win a Big 12 game when you have one guy on your roster that makes 50 percent of his shots," coach Chris Beard said.
ABOUT KANSAS STATE (7-8, 0-3): Cartier Diarra (12.1 points, 5.7 assists), who finished with team highs of 14 points and five assists Saturday, has been one of the Wildcats' few consistent offensive contributors, leading the team is scoring six times and assists 13 times through 15 contests. Leading scorer Xavier Sneed (14.6 points, 5.1 rebounds) entered Saturday's game as one of only three Big 12 players to average at least 20 points in his first two league games but was limited to a season-low five on 1-of-8 from the floor. Since averaging 9.6 3-pointers over a five-game stretch - including matching their season high with 12 in the conference opener at Oklahoma - Kansas State has totaled nine over its last two games.
1. Tuesday will mark the fourth straight game in which Texas Tech is facing one of the eight Big 12 teams that ranks 44th or better in the country in scoring defense.
2. Kansas State, which hosts the Mountaineers on Saturday before visiting No. 7 Kansas next Tuesday, are under .500 for the first time since March 7, 2015.
3. The Red Raiders were held under 50 points twice in Beard's first three seasons - both times came in losses in Manhattan against the Wildcats.
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