K-State conference title hopes take hit against Texas Tech

Guard Markquis Nowell looks to drive in the game against Texas Tech. K-State won the matchup against the Red Raiders on Jan. 21 at home, 68-58. (Archive photo by Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

No. 12 Kansas State men’s basketball was defeated by the Texas Tech Red Raiders 71-63. The loss is K-State’s fourth consecutive road loss and puts them two games back of first-place in conference. 

The game saw a sloppy start. Turnovers, missed shots and scoring droughts piled up for both teams. Forward Ismael Massoud managed to knock down a couple of early 3s, giving K-State the early advantage and breaking the drought.

The Wildcats leading scorers — guard Markquis Nowell and forward Keyontae Johnson — combined to shoot 3-14 in the first half. Texas Tech, on the other hand, ended the half on an impressive shooting run that gave them the momentum and a 33-26 lead. 

K-State’s deficit could’ve been larger considering their 14 turnovers. Just like the team’s first matchup in Manhattan, the Wildcats would have to come from behind in the second half.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half were similar to the first half. Still battling Tech’s defense, K-State chipped away and cut their deficit to just one with eight minutes to play. 

A battle ensued as the game clock dwindled. Nowell led the Wildcats comeback effort with 15 second half points after scoring three in the first half. However, turnovers continued to be an issue and kept K-State from taking a lead in the final minutes. Simply put, Texas Tech had answers down the stretch — K-State did not. 

Nowell’s 18 total points made him and guard Desi Sills the only Wildcat in double-figures. K-State finished with 23 turnovers.

K-State will continue their road trip against the Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday, Feb. 14.