Back on the Road: Men's Hoops Faces Texas Tech

Tipping off at 8 p.m., tonight's game - the second matchup of the season between the Wildcats and the Red Raiders - will be aired nationally on ESPNU.
"We had to fight our butts off playing them here earlier this year, then we had to fight our butts off there last year to get a win. So I hope our guys come ready to play," said K-State head coach Bruce Weber yesterday afternoon.
The last time the two teams matched up - January 14, 2015 - the Wildcats won, 58-51, in Bramlage Coliseum. Though it was a close game, it was K-State sophomores Marcus Foster and Wesley Iwundu leading the way as they scored 14 and 10 points, respectively.
"They play hard, they control the tempo," explained Weber on the gritty style of play Texas Tech presents. "That's our style, too. We don't have the ability this year to explode and go get those points. So I hope we hit a bunch of shots tomorrow and they don't, but if it goes according to what's happened (so far this season), it's probably going to be a hard fought, low scoring game."
Both the Wildcats and Red Raiders are entering tonight's game on two-game losing skids, so both teams will be looking to get back on track. 
While Texas Tech is coming off of back-to-back tough losses at No. 21 Oklahoma (81-36) and at No. 17 West Virginia (77-58), K-State enters tonight's game after falling to both the Mountaineers at home (59-65) and No. 9/11 Kansas on the road (68-57).
"Road wins are the best wins in this league," explained senior forward Nino Williams. "You have to protect your home court, but you have to get road wins in order to be at the top of this league."
Regardless of where a team travels in the Big 12 Conference, road wins are hard to come by - that doesn't exclude United Supermarket Arena. On their home court, the Red Raiders are 11-3 this season, including, most recently, an impressive 78-73 win over No. 9 Iowa State. 
"They beat Iowa State 10 days ago," said Weber, "and tomorrow they have their black out game; they're trying to get all their students in there, I heard. It's a pretty loud environment with all the noisemakers, so we'll see what happens with that."
Tomorrow evening's game will kick off the second half of the Big 12 season for the Wildcats, and there is no looking back as K-State is ready to tackle the remainder of its 2014-15 season. 
"I thought with the 4-1 start that we could be 6-3 right now," said Weber. "Obviously, Iowa State and West Virginia were both within reach, but we let those opportunities slip by. Now you just have to start the second half of this season 0-0 and see what you can do.
"I thought up until Saturday (at Kansas), our effort had been really great," continued the Wildcat coach. "Oklahoma State, the first game of the conference play, we were in that emotional hangover, but after that, I thought the next seven games we came prepared and ready to play. We gave everybody a game. Then at Kansas, we didn't have much energy and passion to begin that game and that was disappointing, but I thought we could have competed with them."
As it looks forward to the second half of conference play, K-State has proven it can compete with anyone. Its goal now is to remain consistent and take each and every game as a new opportunity. 
"If you worry about too far ahead, you put too much pressure on yourself. So as a team, we just have to worry about the next game," said Williams. "It's a tough league. There are a lot of good teams in this league and a lot of things can happen. We just have to worry about every game, the next game. Right now, Texas Tech is the biggest game of the year."
For more information on tomorrow evening's game, please click here.

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