Cats beat Tech to keep streak alive


On a day that started with snow on the ground and ended with a high in the 50s, the climate in Bramlage Coliseum could only be described in one word — hostile.

The atmosphere started with the 9,941 fans in attendance, and the Wildcats took care of the rest.

The K-State men’s basketball team welcomed the Texas Tech Red Raiders into Bramlage on Wednesday night and defeated them 85-73.

K-State (17-7, 6-4 Big 12 Conference) started the game with a 3-pointer from junior guard Denis Clemente, then proceeded to go on a 30-6 tear in the first 13 minutes of the game.

“We had great intensity like we wanted to,” said senior forward Darren Kent. “We’ve been preaching that all week, to have high intensity to get them out of their offense. By doing that, we created turnovers and got some transition points.”

The Wildcats would continue their hot shooting, making 51.4 percent of their shots from the field, including 7 3-pointers in the first half to take a 49-25 lead into halftime.

K-State also used great defensive pressure to keep the Red Raiders from scoring, forcing them into 11 first-half turnovers and held them to 40-percent shooting for the first half.

“We did own the first half,” said sophomore guard Jacob Pullen. “We really came out and played well. Last year they embarrassed us on national television and none of us forgot that.”

After halftime, the Wildcats were able to stretch their lead to 26 points, but Texas Tech was able to crawl back into the game behind the shooting of junior guard Nick Okorie.

Okorie scored 15 of his game-high 21 points on 4-7 from behind the 3-point arc in the second half. Senior guard Alan Voskuil and sophomore guard John Roberson each scored in double-digits for Texas Tech with 17 and 11 points, respectively.

As the second half progressed, the Red Raiders came as close as 12 points to K-State by the way of a 19-2 run against mostly Wildcat reserves in the last 4:53 of the game to make the final score seem deceptively close.

K-State was led offensively by Kent who had 18 points.

“I told everyone earlier this year that he’s accepted a new responsibility,” said head coach Frank Martin. “He is growing as a player. Now it’s kind of on his shoulders how we do.”

Clemente and Pullen also scored in double-digits with 15 and 12 points, respectively. K-State is now 11-0 this season when both of these players score in double digits.

As a team, the Wildcats shot 49.3 percent from the field. They were also able to outrebound the Red Raiders by a margin of 34-26, which included 11 offensive rebounds.

K-State also dominated Texas Tech in the paint, outscoring them 40-14.

The Wildcats have now won six consecutive Big 12 Conference games and will look to continue that success against KU on Saturday.

“We are feeling good,” said sophomore forward Dominique Sutton. “We’re going to move on now that this game is over with and focus on KU. We’re excited that we won six straight games, but it’s over now so we have to get ready for tomorrow’s practice.”

Tipoff for the KU game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.