With its star not clicking, No. 11 Texas Tech needed a lift from somebody else against Kansas State.
Davide Moretti filled that void with 19 points and Matt Mooney added 14 as the Red Raiders held off the Wildcats for a 63-57 victory in Big 12 action Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.
Barry Brown led K-State with 16 points and Cartier Diarra added 11 on a day when the Wildcats shot just 33.3 percent from the field against a tough Texas Tech defense.
The Wildcats (10-4, 0-2) erased most of a 34-19 halftime deficit and pulled within 43-42 when Brown knocked down a 3-pointer with 6:51 to play.
But the Red Raiders (13-1, 2-0) finally found some offensive rhythm to pull away, despite their struggles at the free-throw line in the second half (15 of 23).
Moretti hit a series of big shots in the second half to account for 10 points in a row, helping Texas Tech overcome a second-half wave of 13 turnovers. He answered Brown’s long-range shot with a 3-pointer 16 seconds later to trigger a 7-0 run.
Tech standout Jarrett Culver, the team’s leading scorer who struggled against the K-State defense and finished with nine points, gave his team a 53-43 lead with 2:21 to go when he hit three free throws.
Playing again without Big 12 preseason Player of the Year Dean Wade, the Wildcats fell into a huge hole in the early going because they couldn’t make shots.
K-State missed its first 13 floor shots until Diarra got loose on a runout and hit a driving-and-one layup at the 9:12 mark. That basket triggered a brief Wildcats’ surge — seven points in 1:18 — as they clawed back within 17-10.
Texas Tech hit a lull about that same time, missing seven field goals in a row after Deshawn Corprew buried a 3-pointer at the 12:04 mark.
Moretti helped the Red Raiders get back on track when he hit a 3 and Culver made his only field goal of the first half on an offensive rebound. Those shots helped Tech close the half on a 17-9 run.
—Field Level Media