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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 28, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) -- Manhattan, Kansas. Television: Big 12 Network, MASN. Home Record: TTU 8-4, KSU 10-1. Away Record: TTU 1-5, KSU 1-3. Neutral Record: TTU 1-1, KSU 3-2. Conference Record: TTU 2-5, KSU 4-3. Series Record: Kansas State leads, 18-12.
GAME NOTES: After falling out of the national rankings, the Kansas State Wildcats will attempt to end a two-game slide when they host the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a Big 12 Conference clash at Bramlage Coliseum.
Kansas State lifted itself to No. 22 in the AP poll a week ago, but losses at Texas (67-64) and Iowa State (81-75) pushed it out. The Wildcats are still a solid 14-6 overall, although they are just 4-3 in league play. Returning home should help, as they are 10-1 at Bramlage Coliseum this season, but a visit to West Virginia is next on the schedule.
Texas Tech has not fallen from or even reached such lofty heights. The Red Raiders are an even 10-10 overall, including a 2-5 league ledger. They have also lost back-to-back games entering this contest. The next two will be at home for the squad, with dates against West Virginia and Oklahoma.
The last time Texas Tech won a tussle with Kansas State was during the 2007-08 season. The Wildcats have won seven straight since, improving its lead in the all-time series to 18-12 in the process.
The Red Raiders most recent disappointment came at the hands of Oklahoma, as they were defeated at home in a 74-65 final. Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert each scored 14 points for Texas Tech, which connected on just 42.1 percent of its shots from the floor, while being outscored off turnovers, 14-3.
As a unit, Texas Tech does not score at a particularly impressive rate. The Red Raiders are ranked eighth in the Big 12 in scoring (73.4 ppg), despite shooting a respectable 47.2 percent from the floor. Crockett (14.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is the team's top offensive threat, connecting on 56 percent of his field goal attempts. Tolbert (12 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is also a sturdy force on the interior, leading the team in rebounding, while serving as the second-best scoring option. Robert Turner (10.1 ppg) gives the club a lift in the backcourt, but he is only connecting on 39.3 percent of his total shots.
Even though Marcus Foster tied for a game-high 20 points, Kansas State still couldn't top Iowa State on the road. The Wildcats were outscored from the free-throw line (20-12), while allowing the Cyclones to sink 48.1 percent of their field goal attempts.
Kansas State is also putting up uninspired offensive numbers this season (68.2 ppg, .427 FG percentage). However, the Wildcats have made up for their lack of firepower by holding opponents to 61.3 ppg and 40.3 percent shooting. Foster (14 ppg) leads the team offensively, despite shooting just 39.5 percent from the floor. Thomas Gipson (12.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is a more efficient scorer, netting 58.4 percent from the floor, primarily because he takes the bulk of his shots in the paint. Shane Southwell (11.7 ppg, 3.1 apg) is the unit's top distributor, and a solid scorer in his own right.
Last week, K-State fell just short against a pair of tough teams on the road. Now that the Wildcats are back home they should be able to return to the win column, especially considering the inconsistency of the opposition.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 74, Texas Tech 61
01/28 10:34:12 ET
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