Despite the impressive offensive effort by the Red Raiders, K-State (9-17, 2-11 Big 12) still had ample of opportunities in yet another close loss, as the team fell to 3-12 in games decided by 10 points or less. The Wildcats have lost 11 games by single digits, including 6 in Big 12 play.
After falling behind 37-29 less than 2 minutes into the second half after a 7-2 run by Texas Tech, K-State followed with its own run to rally to within 44-42 after a layup by junior Cartier Diarra with 10:10 to play. Diarra stole the ball on the next possession and had a breakaway dunk that would have tied it at 44-all, but the ball hit the rim on the attempted dunk and was rebounded by sophomore Kyler Edwards who then dished it to Moretti for a wide open 3-pointer for a 47-42 lead with 9:46 to play.
The 3-pointer by Moretti ignited the pivotal 8-2 run that flipped a narrow 44-42 lead into a 52-44 advantage, as head coach Bruce Weber called his final timeout with 6:44 remaining. The lead grew to as many as 13 points (64-51) after a personal 5-0 run by Moretti at the 1:37 mark, but the Wildcats continued to fight, using an 8-0 run, to close to within 64-59 with 38 seconds left. However, they could get no closer the rest of the way, as freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey scored the Red Raiders’ last 5 points on a dunk and 3 free throws.
The loss was K-State’s sixth straight, which is the longest such streak in the Bruce Weber era and the longest by a Wildcat team since also dropping 6 in a row from Feb. 2-19, 2005.
Senior Xavier Sneed paced three Wildcats in double figures with 15 points on 5-of-12 field goals, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and a 3-of-4 effort from the free throw line to go with a game-high 4 steals, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 37 minutes. Freshman Antonio Gordon tallied a near double-double with a season-high 14 points on 6-of-7 field goals, including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, to go with a game-high 8 rebounds.
For the game, K-State connected on 47.9 percent (23-of-48) from the field, including 61.3 percent (19-of-31) from inside the 3-point line. It was the highest field goal percentage since hitting on 59.2 percent in a win over West Virginia at home on Jan. 18 and the highest this season in a road game.
Moretti was joined in double figures by Ramsey (17) and Edwards (14).
With the win, the Red Raiders swept the season series from the Wildcats for the second time in 3 seasons.