Texas Tech coach Bob Knight might have been happy with this win if his team was able to protect a big early lead. No. 18 Texas Tech let Kansas State surge back from 13 points down to trail by three at halftime before the Red Raiders went on to an 82-71 victory Saturday night.
"I wish I could get to the point where I only think about the positives or think about the positives first," Knight said of his team's overall play. "When you're there and you keep that (lead) now you get to start the second half and you can end the game and you can end it quickly."
Andre Emmett, who led the Big 12 in scoring (21.6 points) coming into the game, had 26 points and 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.
Tech (18-6, 6-4) led most of the way and built a 60-48 lead on a 10-footer by Ronald Ross with 13:44 remaining in the game. Kansas State cut the margin to 70-67 with 5:31 left, but Tech went on a 6-0 run with Emmett getting four of the points and the Wildcats didn't threaten again.
"That was kind of a dagger-in-the-heart time of the game," Kansas State coach Jim Wooldridge said. "We'd done a good job of cutting it down, but we were just not able to play as precise and as poised as we needed to during that stretch."
Devonne Giles matched his career high with 17 points and Jarrius Jackson added 11 for Tech.
The Wildcats finished with 19 turnovers.
"That hurt us, those lost possessions. They weren't even forced turnovers," said Jarrett Hart, who finished with 20 points. "Most of our mistakes tonight were self-inflicted. That's frustrating. We just have to go back and work on things and get ready for the next game."
Tim Ellis also scored 20 points and Marques Hayden added 10 for the Wildcats.
For the second consecutive game, 3-pointers hurt Tech. Oklahoma was 9-of-22 from beyond the arc to beat the Red Raiders 63-48 on Wednesday. Kansas State (11-10, 3-7) was 8-of-15, well above their season average of 35 percent.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Tech, which lost four of six after a 12-game winning streak. The Red Raiders and Knight are on the verge of winning 20 games for the third consecutive season, a feat never done at Tech.
Knight said he stressed an improved defense at the season's outset and the team has responded. He's already decided on next season's goal: better rebounding.
"We just give up too much," he said. "We get a hand on it instead of two; it's knocked away from us. I think we're a good team but for us to be a really good team, we've got to be a better rebounding team."
The loss continued the Wildcats' road woes. They haven't won on the road in eight games this season and have dropped 16 straight away from home dating to a 79-66 win at Wichita State in December 2002.
After holding a 13-point lead late in the first half, Tech led 44-41 at halftime. Kansas State used an 11-2 run over the final 1:31 that included three straight 3-pointers _ two by Hart and one by Ellis _ to close the gap.
Cats fall -- again -- on the road
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