LUBBOCK (AP) — Devaugntah Williams and Keenan Evans each scored 20 points as the Red Raiders defeated Kansas State 80-71 Saturday in the Big 12 Conference finale for both squads.
With the win, the Red Raiders (19-11 overall, 9-9 Big 12) ended their conference slate at .500 for the first time since the 2006-2007 season.
D.J. Johnson finished with 21 points to lead the Wildcats (16-15, 5-13).
Kansas State appeared to be on point early on, building a 12-2 advantage in the first four-and-a-half minutes. During that spurt, Dean Wade contributed four points.
But the Red Raiders clawed their way back, closing the deficit to 23-11 before going on a game-changing 25-5 run to close out the final nine-and-a-half minutes.
Zach Smith started the offensive surge with a tip-in followed by a fast-break dunk by Justin Gray to cut the deficit to 23-15 at the 8:29 mark.
The key moment of the run came when Norense Odiase, who had just returned from injury, drained back-to-back jumpers to knot things up at 28-28 with 2:24 in the first half.
About 20 seconds later, Toddrick Gotcher made a coast-to-coast basket, which not only gave the Red Raiders their first lead of the game but jumpstarted an 8-0 run to finish off the half.
In the span of 10 minutes, the Wildcats went from leading by 12 to trailing by eight following a buzzer-beating layup by Evans.
Smith and Williams had six points, apiece during the late first-half run.
Texas Tech continued its hot shooting in the second half, building its lead to as many at 18 points, as it held off the Wildcats en route to its 14th home win of the season.
Kansas State: The Wildcats have struggled on the road this season, going 3-9 away from home. But the team has done well in Lubbock, winning four of the last five games.
Texas Tech: Odiase, who had been rehabilitating a broken right foot since early January, returned to the lineup at the 13:06 mark of the first half. The sophomore forward finished with four points on 2 of 2 shooting in eight minutes played.
Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith earned John R. Wooden “Legends of Coaching” award prior to Saturday’s contest. The veteran coach will be honored at a ceremony in April.
Kansas State’s Stephen Hurt, who appeared to land awkwardly after chasing a loose ball, went to the locker room around the 12-minute mark of the game. He finished with two points.
Texas Tech honored its two seniors — Toddrick Gotcher and Devaugntah Williams — prior to Saturday’s contest. The veterans combined for 33 points.
No. 8 seed Kansas State plays No. 9 seed Oklahoma State on Wednesday at Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.
No. 7 seed Texas Tech plays No. 10 seed TCU on Wednesday.
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