Much like in their earlier upset of Iowa State, Tech caught fire from deep early, and never really cooled off. Twelve of Tech’s first sixteen points came on 3-pointers, with Robert Turner and Devaugntah Williams each hitting two trifectas. And after a pair of Zach Smith free throws at the 12:34 mark of the first half, the Red Raiders had forged an 18-10 lead over the Wildcats, who were playing without suspended star guard Marcus Foster.
Tech never trailed again in the first half—or the game, for the matter of it—but KSU pulled to within a bucket on a couple of occasions. Jevon Thomas’ layup with 9:10 remaining made the score 20-18, and a Thomas Gipson layup with 6:21 remaining cut it to 22-20.
But the Red Raiders were equal to the task every time the Wildcats threatened. And at halftime, Tech held a solid 34-26 lead.
Smith hit all four of his first half attempts and netted eight points and four rebounds. Williams and Turner combined for 17 more points, and it was clear that the hot-shooting Red Raiders were going to be tough to beat on this night.
But, to their credit, K-State made a strong run in the second half.
After Toddrick Gotcher nailed a 3-ball to give Tech a 44-36 lead with 10:20 to play, the Red Raiders hit a dry patch, and KSU brought some rain. Tre Harrris hit a trifecta, Stephen Hurt had a putback and another trey, and all Tech had in response was a Smith free throw. Thus, after Hurt’s 3-pointer, the scoreboard said 45-44 Tech, and there was still 7:52 on the clock.
However, the Red Raider defense then rose to the occasion and Williams powered the team on the offensive end. K-State had three opportunities to take the lead, but were denied on each occasion. And when Williams hit a layup at the 5:13 mark, it signaled Tech’s departure from the Wildcats.
Those two points were the opening salvo in an 11-point barrage by Williams, which effectively put KSU away. After the smoke had cleared from Williams’ six-guns, the score stood at 56-44 with 2:44 remaining. And just for good measure, Gotcher followed up Williams’ explosion with a trifecta of his own to remove all doubt.
The Red Raiders continued to pull away over the final two and a half minutes, and the final score of 64-47 was also their largest lead.
Williams led Tech with 22 points, while Gotcher and Turner chipped in 15 and 13 respectively. Smith had nine points, eight rebounds, two blocked shots and a pair of assists.
The Red Raiders’ next game is at 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Iowa State (16-5, 6-3).