MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Will Spradling scored a season-high 17 points, including four free throws in the closing seconds, to help Kansas State hold off Texas Tech 66-58 on Tuesday night.
Nino Williams added 13 points and Wesley Iwundu had 11 for the Wildcats (15-6, 5-3 Big 12), who ended a two-game skid despite getting very little from their three leading scorers.
Marcus Foster had two points on 1-for-8 shooting, Shane Southwell missed his first seven shots and finished with four points, and Thomas Gipson scored seven before fouling out.
The Red Raiders (10-11, 2-6) closed within 48-47 midway through the second half, but the stingiest defense in the Big 12 kept answering the call, and Texas Tech never regained the lead.
Jaye Crockett had 15 points to lead Texas Tech. Dusty Hannahs finished with 14.
Kansas State methodically built a 32-20 halftime advantage on the strength of its defense, which made the Red Raiders look downright silly in the way it harassed them around the rim.
Crockett, who came in averaging 14 points and six rebounds, managed just three points and two boards in the first half. Robert Turner was the only Texas Tech player to make more than one field goal — he had two — while Toddrick Gotcher scored a team-high five points.
As awful as the Red Raiders were on offense, they actually jumped out to a 9-8 lead. But the Wildcats answered with a 16-2 run, taking advantage of 10-minute stretch in which the visitors were 1 of 10 from the floor and turned the ball over four times.
Hannahs spurred Texas Tech’s comeback in the second half.
The sophomore guard scored nine straight points shortly out of the break, and a 3-pointer by Crockett got the Red Raiders within 48-47 with 7 minutes left. Kansas State nearly regained control with six quick points, but Hannahs buried another 3 to answer the run.
The plucky Wildcats simply refused to let the Red Raiders finish off their comeback.
Spradling made a couple of foul shots, and then Iwundu scored a sloppy bucket at the rim after a scrum in the paint to give Kansas State a 58-52 lead with 2½ minutes to go.
Crockett made a couple of free throws to cut into the lead with 45 seconds left, and Kansas State promptly threw away the inbounds pass. But before the Red Raiders ever got a chance to set up their offense, Spradling picked the pocket of Randy Onwuasor to get the ball back.
Spradling was fouled and made both free throws, and the parade to the foul line began in earnest. Southwell added two more moments later, Williams added the next two, and Spradling made two more with 6.2 seconds left to seal the victory.