Manhattan, KS – Thomas Gipson totaled 20 points with eight rebounds and Angel Rodriguez contributed 16 points and seven assists, as No. 13 Kansas State surged past Texas Tech in the second half to take a 75-55 victory on Monday.
Nino Williams scored nine consecutive points early in the second stanza, where the Wildcats (23-5, 12-3 Big 12) outscored Texas Tech by a 44-25 count to grab their fourth straight win and stay atop the conference standings.
Rodney McGruder added 10 points and seven rebounds in the victory, which placed Bruce Weber in a tie for most wins in school history by a first-year head coach.
The Red Raiders (9-17, 2-13) managed just two field goals over the final 11 minutes as their season-long losing streak stretched to nine games. Dusty Hannahs had 14 points and Jaye Crockett scored 13 off the bench in the setback.
"It has been our Achilles' heel all year long," Texas Tech head coach Chris Walker said about his team's 14 turnovers, which led to 20 Wildcats points. "The guys are really trying hard, and I am very proud of my team. Kansas State is a really good team."
Kansas State let Texas Tech hang around and it actually trailed 44-42 after 26 minutes of play, but the Wildcats got a scoring surge from an unexpected source before locking down defensively to capture the win.
Williams, who only averages 4.8 points per game, strung together four straight buckets and added another layup to put Kansas State ahead 53-47.
"He got on a nice run," said Weber on Williams' play. "One of ours keys to our team is that everyday it seems that someone steps up. It is hard to stop every guy that we have. I have said it from the beginning that we have eight starters and all of them can be very productive."
Rodriguez then scored 10 points during an 20-4 run to break the game open, burying a triple to begin the flurry and adding a three-point play near the end of the surge to put the contest out of reach.
The Red Raiders went 2-for-11 over the last 11 minutes, adding just two free throws while committing four turnovers over the stretch.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 12-4 lead, but the Red Raiders slowly clawed their way back, as Crockett's third basket knotted the score at 21-21.
Texas Tech was ahead by one with 45 seconds remaining before McGruder's buzzer-beating jumper from the corner staked the Wildcats to a 31-30 lead.
Bob Huggins posted 23 victories in his first season at Kansas State in 2006-07 ... The Wildcats have 12 league victories for the first time since the 1972-73 season and its the most they've posted as a member of the Big 12 ... Kansas State improved to 16-1 on its home floor ... Texas Tech has lost seven straight on the road.