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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 25, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: United Spirit Arena (15,000) -- Lubbock, Texas. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: K-State 14-1, TTU 10-5. Away Record: K-State 1-6, TTU 2-8. Neutral Record: K-State 3-2, TTU 1-1. Conference Record: K-State 8-6, TTU 5-9. Series Record: Kansas State leads, 21-10.
GAME NOTES: The Texas Tech Red Raiders will attempt to put an end to their three-game losing streak on Tuesday night when they tangle with the Kansas State Wildcats in a Big 12 Conference matchup at United Spirit Arena.
Kansas State has built itself an impressive resume this season with an 18-9 overall record and a 8-6 Big 12 mark, but it has had more than its share of troubles on the road with just a 1-6 ledger away from home. The Wildcats are losers of two of three, both on the road, most recently falling on the wrong end of an 86-73 final at Oklahoma on Saturday.
Texas Tech's current losing streak is its third three-game slide since the start of the new year and has caused it to slip to 13-14 and 5-9 in league action. The Red Raiders were dominated by Oklahoma State on Saturday in an 84-62 setback, but they will welcome a return home, as they've gone a solid 10-5 at United Spirit Arena.
The teams met back on Jan. 28, with Kansas State claiming a 66-58 home win to improve its standing in the all-time series versus Texas Tech to 21-10.
The Wildcats were outmatched from the very start of their most recent game, as they fell behind by 19 at the half and never got closer than 11 points of the lead the rest of the way. Although they shot an impressive 50 percent from the field on the afternoon, including 10-of-19 from behind the arc, they couldn't keep pace with Oklahoma (.509) and were outscored at the free-throw line, 20-9. Marcus Foster was stellar despite the loss with a game-high 21 points, while Nigel Johnson and Thomas Gipson netted 11 and 10 points, respectively.
On the season, Kansas State has a modest offensive attack as best, shooting 43.7 percent from the field for 69.3 ppg, but the majority of its success has come thanks to a stellar defensive effort, as it allows just 64.1 ppg on 40.3 percent shooting. Marcus Foster is the catalyst in his freshman campaign with 15.2 ppg, and that number has shot up to 21.5 ppg over the last six tilts. Gipson is a mainstay in the paint with 11.7 ppg (on 56.4 percent from the field) and 6.4 rpg, while Shane Southwell adds 10.2 ppg.
Much like Kansas State, Texas Tech never posed much of a threat in its most recent game, as it was outshot from the field by Oklahoma State, 56.9 percent to 47.1 percent, and lost the turnover battle, 15-9, en route to the 22-point defeat. Jordan Tolbert was one of the few bright spots for the squad with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Robert Turner chipped 10 points.
Although the Red Raiders shoot an impressive 46.3 percent from the field this season, good for 74th-best in the nation, it only scores a modest 70.6 ppg (204th). Defensively, they have been solid, allowing 68.7 ppg, which has allowed them to remain competitive in most games. Jaye Crockett paces the squad in both scoring (14.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg), while boasting strong percentages from the field (.523) and the free-throw line (.837). Tolbert joins Crockett in the frontcourt with 11.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg and nearly a block per game, while shooting 57.4 percent from the floor. Turner (9.8 ppg) leads the backcourt effort but makes field goals at just 40.7 percent efficiency.
Kansas State has enough quality wins at the moment to remain a safe bet for an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament, but that could change if its road struggles continue. The Red Raiders should have a strong chance in this one, but figure for the Wildcats' defense to hold firm down the stretch.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 66, Texas Tech 64
02/25 10:22:45 ET
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