The team has lost four of their last five games, including three straight on the road, by a combined 11 points. For the season, the Wildcats have lost seven of eight games by five points or less, which ties four other squads for the most close losses in school history in the last 30 seasons.
The game could mark the return of head coach Jim Wooldridge, who has missed the last two games after recovering from surgery to remove a bulging disk in his neck on Feb. 8. Wooldridge was going to attend practice on Tuesday, and if there were no setbacks with his condition, was going to fly down on Wednesday to coach the game against Texas Tech.
The game will be televised throughout Kansas and the Kansas City area by Fox Sports Midwest (DirecTV Ch. 655; Dish Network Ch. 446) with Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (color) calling the action. Fans can also listen to the game on the K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Matt Walters (color) behind the mikes.
Kansas State could not hold a late three-point lead against Missouri, as the Tigers broke a three-game losing streak to the Wildcats with a 74-71 win on Sunday in Columbia, Mo. The Wildcats connected on 50 percent of their field goals for the seventh time this year with 51 percent shooting against the Tigers. Sophomore guard David Hoskins paced three players in double figures with his third 20-point effort, while junior guards Cartier Martin and Lance Harris added 19 and 18 points.
Texas Tech enters Wednesday's contest with a 12-12 overall record and 4-6 Big 12 record after dropping its fifth game in the last seven in a 66-64 loss at Colorado Saturday. Jarrius Jackson paced three players in double figures with a team-high 18 points. The two squads will be meeting for the 19th time with the Wildcats holding a slight 10-8 advantage.
Kansas State relied on its stingy defense to post its first three-game conference winning streak in the Big 12 era and the first since the last year of the Big Eight in 1996. Kansas, Texas A&M and Missouri combined to average 57.7 points on 34.6 percent (53-of-153) shooting from the field, including 28.6 percent from three-point range, while the much smaller Wildcats held a 112-95 advantage on the boards. The Wildcats held both Kansas and Texas A&M to their second fewest points and lowest shooting percentage of the season, while Missouri was held to both its fewest field goals (18) and third-fewest points and field goal percentage. It marked the first time since K-State's last three-game conference winning streak in 1996 that the Wildcats held three consecutive opponents to 65 points or less with wins against Colorado (57), Oklahoma (60) and Oklahoma State (59).
The Book on Texas Tech
Texas Tech enters Wednesday's contest with a 12-12 overall record and 4-6 mark in Big 12 play after dropping a 66-64 decision at Colorado on Saturday. The Red Raiders have lost five of their last seven games and three of their last five, including two straight. The team rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to have a chance at the end, however, Jarrius Jackson's long 3-pointer missed off the back of the rim as the team dropped to 1-7 on the road this season. Jackson paced three players in double figures with 18 points on 8-of-22 field goals, while Martin Zeno and Darryl Dora added 17 and 13 points, respectively. The Red Raiders recovered from poor first-half shooting (28.1 percent) to score 39 points in the second half on 45.9 percent shooting.
Texas Tech ended non-conference play with an 8-6 mark, including a 7-1 mark at home. The Red Raiders won two of their three conference games with victories over Baylor (79-61) and Iowa State (76-73) before winning two of their last seven games. In that span, the team has dropped games on the road at Texas (46-80), Oklahoma (48-60), Kansas (52-86) and Colorado (64-66), while winning two of three at home to Oklahoma State (92-90 in overtime) and Missouri (73-55).
The Red Raiders are averaging 68.6 points on 44.5 percent shooting, including 37.1 percent from 3-point range, with 34.1 rebounds, 15.5 assists, 5.3 steals and 2.3 blocks. The team is allowing opponents 68.2 points on 42.2 percent shooting.
Texas Tech has two players averaging in double figures led by junior Jarrius Jackson's 19.2 points per game. He paces the team in field goals (154), 3-point field goals (47), assists (3.0) and steals (1.8). Sophomore Martin Zeno is second in scoring at 15.4 points to go with a team-best 5.4 rebounds. Freshman Dior Lowhorn adds 7.9 points and a team-best 0.8 blocks.
Head coach Bob Knight has an 866-345 record in 39 seasons as a head coach, including a 102-56 mark at Texas Tech.
A Quick Look at the Wildcats
Junior Cartier Martin's running 3-point attempt rolled off the back of the rim as the clock expired, as Kansas State dropped its third road game by five points or less in a 74-71 loss at Missouri on Sunday. The Wildcats fought back from a six-point deficit in the second half on the strength of 57.1 percent shooting, but a determined Tiger squad held on to snap their six-game skid.
The Wildcats are averaging 69.8 points per game on 45.5 percent shooting with 36.4 rebounds, 16.8 assists, 6.2 steals and 3.6 blocks, while foes are averaging 62.8 points on 39.3 percent shooting. The Big 12's fourth-leading scorer, Cartier Martin, paces three in double figures at 18.8 points, while David Hoskins and Lance Harris average 13.1 and 11.3 points, respectively