Wildcats outlast Texas Tech for first road win

Junior guard Ashia Woods looks to feed the ball inside to the post in a game against the Oklahoma Sooners in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 29, 2014

Ugly is ugly, just as a win is a win.

Fortunately for K-State, the former came with the latter in Saturday’s trip to Lubbock, Texas. The Wildcats scored just 41 points and shot 31.8 percent from the field, but earned a critical 41-38 win over Texas Tech.

Jeff Mittie’s squad is now on a two-game win streak and has a true road win under their belt.

“You know, we talk about this all the time in the Big 12. You play 18 of these (games). Today you had two teams fighting this thing hard. We couldn’t get much to go in today but we came out on top,” Mittie told K-State Sports after the game.

Using some of the energy from Wednesday’s dramatic overtime win over Oklahoma State, K-State (13-7, 3-6) jumped out to an early 7-2 lead over the Red Raiders (13-8, 3-6). The positive start promised an exciting up-and-down offensive showcase, but that wasn’t the case.

With the aid of several Wildcat turnovers, the Red Raiders grabbed a 10-7 lead. Holding onto that lead was a game in itself, though, as both sides struggled to move the ball without turnovers.

“Points were hard to come by, but we battled through and our players did some good things”, Mittie said.

At one stretch in the first half, Texas Tech had connected on just one attempt on 11 shots, including 0-4 from 3-point range. However, a lack of fluidity on the offensive end from K-State, in addition to 11 first-half turnovers, kept the Red Raiders in the game.

In fact, Texas Tech went into the halftime break up 24-23 despite shooting just 29 percent from the field.

The two teams combined for just 17 points in the first seven minutes and change in the second half. With 12:20 to go and the ballgame tied up at 35, the combination of Ashia Woods and Breanna Lewis stepped up, particularly in the rebounding department. In total, Woods and Lewis combined for 18 rebounds.

Bri Craig sunk a 3-pointer with 7:56 left in the game that seemed to be the dagger, but Texas Tech continued to the fight. The home team had the ball in the hands of their star in Amber Battle with under 10 seconds on the clock. Her shot fell short, though, handing K-State its first road win of the season.

“I think we’re going to look back and say, ‘Well, we did some decent things.’ Turnovers were an issue for us early in this game,” Mittie said. “We ended up with eight in the second half. It’s a little bit better (than the first half), but a little too sloppy. We needed more possessions.”

Woods led K-State on the afternoon with 11 points on 4-8 shooting. Her two free throws down the stretch helped keep the Wildcats ahead by three points. Lewis and Craig added six and nine points, respectively.

Texas Tech’s Battle led all scorers with 19 points on 8-18 shooting.

“When you’re not at your best, you find a way and do what you can to be successful,” Mittie said. “We limited them to 3-27 from (behind the arc), and we talked about it — you could see they were uncomfortable, so we had to trust and make them shoot it, and that’s what we did.”

The Wildcats return to Bramlage Coliseum Wednesday to face Texas. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.