The Texas Tech men’s basketball team picked up its seventh loss of the season in Big 12 Conference play when it lost to No. 13 Kansas State 68-59 Tuesday night.
After suffering a defeat at the hands of West Virginia on Saturday, Tech had little time to plan for its conference match up with Kansas State.
Entering the half, the Red Raiders found themselves in an all too familiar position, as they were down eight points.
Like many of its other Big 12 Conference games, Tech was unable to finish strong, falling behind in the closing minutes of the game and finished with a 9-point loss.
“I think they were more hungry than us,” Tech junior forward Jaye Crockett said. “I think they wanted it more than us.”
Despite winning the game, Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said Tech was able to out-hustle his team, one of the few teams which has been able to do such this season.
“Those kids played really hard,” he said. “They out-toughed us for loose balls.”
After getting a rare start, Crockett, the team’s leading scorer, saw little time in the first half when he got into early foul trouble.
Crockett played six minutes during the first half, but was able to get more time in the second, as he finished with 20 minutes of playing time.
Because of Crockett’s early foul trouble, Tech sophomore forward Clark Lammert and Tech sophomore guard Luke Adams contributed big minutes off the bench, as they brought hustle and heart, Tech coach Chris Walker said.
Despite losing, Walker was able to pick out several positives from the game, saying a major factor, which contributed to the Red Raiders’ loss was the team’s inexperience.
“We’ve just got to continue to grow,” he said. “Right now, we are in the beginning stage, not so much a winning stage like them. But, it will come as time comes.”
After losing against West Virginia on Saturday, Crockett attributed the loss to turnovers, saying the Red Raiders practically gave the other team points.
However, Tech did an effective job of keeping possession Tuesday, as they turned the ball over four times, compared to the 21 turnovers it had Saturday.
“Four turnovers tonight,” Walker said. “I could not be any prouder of my guys. They did a really good job against one of the best teams in the country of taking care of the ball.”
After putting up 19 points against Kansas State, sophomore forward Jordan Tolbert now has five straight games in double -digit figures.
“He has put some good minutes together,” Walker said. “He has been playing a lot better. I think he can do a lot more than what he has been doing.”
The Red Raiders’ struggle with rebounding was a major factor in the loss, as the Wildcats nearly doubled the amount of rebounds Tech had.
“All we can do is learn from this game,” Tech freshman guard Josh Gray said. “And go in and get ready for Saturday. That is going to be another tough game.”
The Red Raiders will look to end their losing skid when they go on the road to face the Baylor Bears at 3 p.m. Saturday in Waco.