Evans, Williams combine for 40, Texas Tech beats Kansas St.
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Toddrick Gotcher has taken part in many special moments during his Texas Tech basketball career.
He added another Saturday: sinking to one knee and proposing to girlfriend Kelly McQuaid in front 12,000 fans.
The 6-foot-4-inch guard scored 13 points, while Devaugntah Williams and Keenan Evans added 20 apiece, as the Red Raiders defeated Kansas State 80-71 in the Big 12 Conference finale for both squads.
More importantly, McQuaid said ''yes'' to the applause of the home-town fans.
''The win is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, the proposal, Senior Day. ... It's been a lot of things going through my mind,'' said Gotcher, who went 3 for 6 from the 3-point line. ''Just happy for my team, and we're excited for the future.''
Gotcher, asked if he had a backup plan, chuckled and said, ''I really didn't. That's what I was afraid of. I hoped she said yes, and she did. So, that's great that she said yes because I would have been looking crazy if she would have said no.''
The Red Raiders (19-11, 9-9 Big 12) ended their conference slate at .500 for the first time since the 2006-2007 season.
D.J. Johnson finished with 21 points to lead the Wildcats (16-15, 5-13). Justin Edwards (16 points), Dean Wade (13) and Wesley Iwundu (12) finished in double digits.
''We came out and probably played as well as we had for the first 12 or 13 minutes, and then they turned it up,'' Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber said. ''And we just didn't deal with it very well.''
Kansas State appeared to be on point early on, building a 12-2 advantage in the first four-and-a-half minutes. During that spurt, Wade contributed four points.
But the Red Raiders clawed their way back, closing the deficit to 23-11 before going on a game-changing 25-5 run to close out the final nine-and-a-half minutes.
''We upped our energy, and we were more focused on defense,'' Williams said. ''We were supposed to be running them off the 3s and they were hitting 3s early. And we just weren't boxing out, so coach (Tubby Smith) had us regroup and lock in during that part of the game.''
Zach Smith started Texas Tech's offensive surge with a tip-in followed by a fast-break dunk by Justin Gray to cut the deficit to 23-15 at the 8:29 mark.
The key moment of the run came when Norense Odiase, who had just returned from injury, drained back-to-back jumpers to knot things up at 28-28 with 2:24 in the first half.
''He hasn't played, and it was his first time back in six to eight weeks,'' Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said of Odiase. ''He looked well and he gave us a real presence. ... When he knocked down those two jumpers, I think we were behind, and I think he tied it up with one of the jumpers. And it did give us a big momentum boost.''
About 20 seconds later, Gotcher made a coast-to-coast basket, which not only gave the Red Raiders their first lead of the game but jumpstarted an 8-0 run to finish off the half.
''We forced the tempo to see what would happen,'' Gotcher said of Texas Tech forcing seven turnovers in the first half during the run. ''We got a lot of easy layups and deflections that led to steals.''
In the span of 10 minutes, the Wildcats went from leading by 12 to trailing by eight following a buzzer-beating layup by Evans.
Smith and Williams had six points, apiece during the late first-half run.
Texas Tech continued its hot shooting in the second half, building its lead to as many at 18 points, as it held off the Wildcats en route to its 14th home win of the season.
''I was impressed with Kansas State,'' Tubby Smith said. ''They're as good as any 16-15 team in this country, and as tough as any team we've played.''
Kansas State: The Wildcats have struggled on the road this season, going 3-9 away from home. But the team had done well in Lubbock, winning four of the last five games until dropping Saturday's contest.
Texas Tech: Odiase, who had been rehabilitating a broken right foot since early January, returned to the lineup at the 13:06 mark of the first half. The sophomore forward finished with four points on 2 of 2 shooting in eight minutes played.
Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith earned John R. Wooden ''Legends of Coaching'' award prior to Saturday's contest. The veteran coach will be honored at a ceremony in April.
Kansas State's Stephen Hurt, suffered a sprained ankle after chasing a loose ball, went to the locker room around the 12-minute mark of the game. He finished with two points in 14 minutes.
Texas Tech honored its two seniors - Gotcher and Williams - prior to Saturday's contest. The veterans combined for 33 points.
No. 8 seed Kansas State plays No. 9 seed Oklahoma State on Wednesday at Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.
No. 7 seed Texas Tech plays No. 10 seed TCU on Wednesday.