The Kansas State Wildcats suffered a setback on Saturday night, falling to 7-5 in Big 12 play after losing to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the last-place team in the conference, 71-63.
That’s now three losses in the last four games for K-State, segmented by a win over the TCU Horned Frogs earlier this week, and the Wildcats have now lost four of their last five Big 12 games.
K-State’s loss to Texas Tech can be boiled down to two, glaring issues: A season high in turnovers, plus a pair of uncharacteristic performances by seniors Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson.
The Wildcats committed 23 turnovers in the losing effort, leading directly to 28 points for the Red Raiders. Turnovers have been a bugaboo for K-State in most of its weakest performances this year; it’s averaging 17.6 turnovers per game in Big 12 losses this season versus 13.6 in its conference wins.
Nowell had more turnovers than any other individual, seven, and had an inefficient shooting night despite scoring a team-high 18 points. The Wildcats’ veteran point guard went just 5-of-19 from the floor and was 1-of-10 from three-point range, although he was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
Johnson had five turnovers in the loss, the second most of any Wildcat, and he was just 3-of-11 from the floor for nine points.
As a team, the Wildcats shot 35.2% overall and 23.1% from three, and made just one of its final eight shots down the stretch.
Texas Tech earned just its second Big 12 win of the year by knocking off the ‘Cats, although they’ve come in successive home games against top-15 teams. The Red Raiders downed the Iowa State Cyclones 89-62 last week.
With the loss, K-State falls to two games off the pace in the Big 12 standings alongside Iowa State and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Those programs faced one another on Saturday, with Oklahoma State holding off Iowa State 64-56 for the Cowboys’ fifth consecutive win. The Texas Longhorns still reside in first place after they cruised past the West Virginia Mountaineers 94-60 this weekend.
Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to Norman on Tuesday for a meeting with the Sooners, who are just 2-10 in conference play and have lost four straight after their shocking destruction of the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide on Jan. 28. That game is slated for an 8:00 p.m. tip.
For more reaction to the Kansas State Wildcats 71-63 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, check out Mic’d Up with Jake and Fulton from noon-3:00 p.m., and 580 Sports Talk with Brendan and Dan from 3-6:00 p.m. Monday on 580 WIBW.