Texas Tech rallies past Kansas State for ninth straight win

Big 12 teams have gotten accustomed to using every bit of 40 minutes to decide games and that was certainly the case Saturday when Kansas State and Texas Tech collided in Lubbock.

The Red Raiders pulled out a 60-59 victory, using Joe Toussaint’s three-point play with 30.8 seconds to go and a gritty defensive stand on the final Wildcats’ possession to stay unbeaten in league play.

The win was the ninth in a row for Texas Tech (14-2, 3-0 Big 12).

Kansas State’s Tylor Perry got a shot off in the lane right before time expired but it was off the mark. He led the Wildcats with 16 points, while Cam Carter scored 15.

Texas Tech finished the game on an 11-2 run to surge back for a win in a physical game. Dorian Finister put K-State (12-4, 2-1) in front 57-49 on a fast-break layup with 3:21 left in the game. That wasn’t enough because the Red Raiders capped a second-half comeback after they looked dead in the water after a dismal end to the first half.

The Wildcats ended the opening frame on a 20-0 run and hit 11 of their last 13 field-goal attempts — eight from 3-point range — to erase a 22-13 deficit.

Perry, who played for Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland at North Texas, helped fuel the burst with four 3-pointers, three in a row to erase the Red Raiders’ lead with 4:48 to go before halftime.

Arthur Kaluma put K-State in front with another trey and when Texas Tech went the final 6:49 without a point, it seemed like the Wildcats had all the momentum.

But Red Raider big man Warren Washington scored his team’s first six points after halftime to help trim the difference to 38-33 before the first media timeout.

Texas Tech inched within 44-42 on Kerwin Walton’s stickback jump shot with 8:41 left, but Kansas State seemed to regain its footing with Will McNair’s vicious slam dunk and Carter’s 3-pointer re-establishing some breathing room.

But a key exchange on Darrion Williams’ three-point play when he snatched an offensive rebound on a missed free throw gave Texas Tech new life and Toussaint provided the game-winner.

Toussaint’s finish gave him a team-high 12, with Washington chiming in with 11.