Wildcats Fall to Texas Tech 73-65

In what proved to be Coach Wooly's last game as the Head Coach at Kansas State, the Cats fell to the Red Raiders in the first round.

DALLAS (AP) - Jarrius Jackson scored 21 points despite making only 4 of 17 shots, leading Texas Tech past Kansas State 73-65 in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament Thursday and keeping alive one of coach Bob Knight's most disappointing seasons.

The Red Raiders (15-16) snapped a four-game losing streak - their longest in five seasons under Knight - and advanced to play No. 8 Texas, the tournament's top seed, in the quarterfinals Friday. Tech must reach the final to avoid Knight's first losing season since 1970-71 and probably has to win the tournament to keep him from missing the postseason for the first time since 1976-77.

While Jackson struggled, Martin Zeno and reserve Tanner Ogden kept the Red Raiders' offense going. Zeno scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Ogden was 5-of-7 for a career-best 14 points.

Jackson still managed to lead the team in scoring by making 10 straight free throws over the last 1:10. He was 1-of-8 in the second half, with his only basket coming on a layup following a steal at midcourt.

The Wildcats (15-13) led for most of the first half and kept it close for most of the second half. Although their last lead was 42-41, they were within 59-57 with 3:50 left and were down two baskets with about a minute and a half left.

David Hoskins led Kansas State with 25 points, tying his career-best, and Dramane Diarra had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Mario Taybron added eight assists, but missed all four shots he took. The Wildcats also were hurt by going 1-of-12 on 3-pointers.

Kansas State closed the season with four losses in its last five games, raising questions about the status of coach Jim Wooldridge, who is 83-90 over six seasons in Manhattan.

The Wildcats took a small step back after going 17-12 last season, although this season they beat top rival Kansas for the first time since 1994 and lost nine games by five points or less. The season was even tougher on Wooldridge because of a bulging disc that required surgery last month, leaving him to work the final six weeks while wearing a neck brace.

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