Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said he was not happy with his team’s performance after Tuesday’s 60-56 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats in the United Spirit Arena in front of a record- breaking 6,086 students.
Although it was not the 10,000 students Tech Athletics was aiming for, the amount of students at the game was still enough to break the Big 12 Conference record.
The Red Raiders have lost four straight games in the Big 12 Conference and nine-straight games to the Wildcats.
“This is about as frustrating a game as I’ve been around in a long time,” Smith said. “I’ll be honest with you, this is really about as disappointing as I could be with the way we performed and the way we executed.”
Although Tech was up 26-25 at the break in a game that had seven lead changes, Kansas State outscored the Red Raiders 35-30 in the second half and ended the game on a 6-0 run.
Tech junior forward Jordan Tolbert had 10 points and nine rebounds, just one board shy of his seventh career double-double, and said Tech has to improve on finishing games.
“We came out well,” he said. “We basically had the game won until about 3 minutes left in the game. We just got to close the games out, that’s been our problem.”
With a win over the Red Raiders, Kansas State coach Bruce Weber has 46 victories with the Wildcats and passed Lon Kruger for the most wins by a head coach in his first 2 seasons in school history, according to a Kansas State news release.
Weber said he was proud of the way his team handled adversity and commended the Wildcats on their defensive effort.
“It was a good win for us,” he said. “A lot of things didn’t go well throughout the game. We kept talking about how bad do you want it. Keep believing and good things will happen.
“Our guys did a great job on the defensive end down the stretch. We made the plays and the ball bounced our way. The ball will bounce your way if you have a good attitude. We’ve talked about that all along. If you treat life well, treat the game right and you play it the right way, good things will happen. I’m proud of our guys, great win for our kids.”
According to a Tech Athletics news release, Kansas State ended a 6-game road-losing streak on the season and leads the all-time series 22-10 against the Red Raiders.
Although Tech went on a 9-0 run to take the lead 56-54 late in the game, Smith said it’s tough to see any positives after the loss.
“It’s hard to find,” he said. “I think our guys worked hard tonight. Again we talk about playing tough, being aggressive and I thought we were that way. But we don’t seem to be playing very smart. The toughness part, even that I’m questioning.
“When you miss 12 shots in the paint and you’re avoiding contact the way we did tonight, it tells me something about your lack in toughness. We do a good job of coming back, but when you’re behind, that’s what you do. We got ourselves back in the game and we’d do something dumb again. That’s life, you got to figure some things out.”
Although the outcome wasn’t what Red Raider fans were wanting, Tech students broke a Big 12 Conference student-attendance record with 6,086 students at the game.
Weber said Red Raider basketball is noticeably different after one year and he thinks very highly of coach Smith.
“Tubby’s done a great job here,” he said. “These guys play hard, they compete every game. The place is energized. Last year we played here, maybe a couple thousand people and you could hear each other talk. Now, you had students there. You got a great person in coach Smith heading your program. I hope the best for him. Obviously we want to beat him, but you can’t get a better person in our business that everyone respects.”