LUBBOCK, Texas — Martavious Irving scored 16 points and Rodney McGruder had 13 to lead No. 22 Kansas State over Texas Tech 69-47 on Wednesday night, keeping the Red Raiders winless in Big 12 play.
The Wildcats trailed briefly early but pulled away when they started hitting shots. They muscled their way into the lane and outscored Texas Tech 36-20 in the paint.
Kansas State (15-4, 4-3 Big 12) pressed on defense, making it difficult for Texas Tech to find passing lanes. That led to a season-high 25 turnovers for the Red Raiders — 12 were Kansas State steals — which the Wildcats converted into 27 points. Texas Tech was averaging 17 turnovers coming into the game.
The Wildcats had 17 turnovers, leading to seven points for the Red Raiders.
Freshman Jordan Tolbert scored 18 points to lead Texas Tech (7-12, 0-7).
The Wildcats' depth hurt the Red Raiders. Bench players contributed more than half of Kansas State's points (38), while Texas Tech got 13 from its reserves.
Just four Texas Tech players scored and only one was not a true freshman. The Red Raiders have struggled to get consistent production on offense, and the loss to the Wildcats was no different.
Texas Tech went to a zone defense in the second half and Kansas State had to make adjustments on the perimeter. The Wildcats started making shots, hitting on 12 of 22 in the second half (54 percent).
The closest Texas Tech got in the second half was 49-33 with 11:47 remaining when freshman Luke Adams hit a 3-pointer from the corner and turned it into a four-point play after he was fouled on the shot.
The win was the third straight for the Wildcats, who dropped three of their first four in conference play.
Kansas State could have led by more than 31-20 at halftime but it missed eight of its first nine shots. The Wildcats used a 16-2 run, including six points from Victor Ojeleye, to go up 18-7.
But Tech, which gave up 13 points to Kansas State on 14 first-half turnovers, whittled the margin to 23-17 late in the half behind a spark from freshman Kevin Wagner, who finished with a career-high 16 points.