LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech trailed by only two with a minute to play before Texas went on an 8-0 run to earn a 68-58 win after hitting 10 3-pointers and limiting the No. 22-ranked Red Raiders to only 21 points in the second half on Saturday at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Tech (18-11, 9-7 Big 12) which had a five-game winning streak over the Longhorns snapped will now play at No. 2 Baylor at 8 p.m. on Monday in Waco before hosting No. 1 Kansas at 1 p.m. next Saturday in its regular-season finale. The Red Raiders led 37-30 at halftime, but dropped to 6-2 at home in conference play with the loss after going 8-1 on their home court in Big 12 play the past two seasons. The Longhorns (18-11, 8-8 Big 12) extended their winning streak to four games and evened the season series after Tech had earned a 62-57 win on Feb. 8 in Austin.
“I thought Texas was the more aggressive team and the second half offensively they set the tone early,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “Defensively, they were taking a lot away from us today so it’s no doubt about it’s kind of the tale of two halves. They were the more aggressive team the second half. Congratulate Texas and Shaka (Smart). I have been consistent by telling you guys that they are one of the hottest teams in college basketball right now and today that proved to be true again.”
Four Red Raiders scored in double figures, led by freshmen Jahmi’us Ramsey who had 13 points and Kevin McCullar who finished with 12 points on a 5-for-6 shooting performance. Davide Moretti added 12 points that included three first-half 3-pointers and Terrence Shannon, Jr. scored 10 points and led the team with five rebounds. Chris Clarke also had five rebounds to go along with four points, while Kyler Edwards had five points.
Andrew Jones finished with a game-high 22 points by going 8-for-14 from the field and Courtney Ramey added 12 with two 3-pointers. Jones, who had 18 in the first matchup, hit three 3-pointers and also had four rebounds. The Longhorns had eight players score in the game with Royce Hamm, Jr. going for nine points and six rebounds. Hamm, who had two offensive rebounds, followed a Ramey miss with a rebound and putback to put Texas up 62-58 to start the 8-0 run with 50 seconds remaining. His basket was followed by a Coleman fastbreak layup and then two free throws before Ramey made it a 10-point decision with a dunk to seal it.
Leading by seven at halftime, Texas Tech would see the Longhorns go on a 5-0 run to start the second half before a Ramsey jumper gave the Red Raiders a 39-35 lead and were up 49-44 with 11 minutes remaining after Edwards beat the shot clock with an NBA-range 3-pointer. Texas responded though, going on a 6-0 run after the Edwards 3-pointer to take a 50-49 lead and were up 55-51 on a Ramey jumper on the strength of an 11-2 run. Tech would never get the lead back in the game but clawed to 60-58 after back-to-back layups from Ramsey and McCullar before the Longhorns made their final push to earn their first win in Lubbock since Jan. 3, 2015.
Texas Tech was limited to 39.2 percent shooting from the field and were 7-for-21 on 3-pointers in the game, while the Longhorns went 10-for-22 on 3-pointers and finished the game shooting 52.2 percent from field. The Red Raiders got to the free-throw line only once the second half and finished the game 11 of 13 with the Longhorns going 10-for-14 on free throws.
Texas Tech went on a late 9-0 run to take a 37-30 lead at halftime with Moretti leading the team with 11 points after going 3-for-4 on 3-pointers. The Red Raiders finished the first half shooting 42.3 percent from the field, 5-for-11 on 3-pointers and were 10-for-12 at the free-throw line led by Ramsey who was 4-for-4. Ramsey and McCullar had seven point each at halftime, while Clarke had four points and four rebounds. Tech opened the game with a 3-0 lead after Moretti hit a 3-pointer on the team’s second possession before the Longhorns took a lead that would last until was tied at 19 after a Ramsey 3-pointer and two free throws after the Red Raiders had trailed by five. Tech was down three before a 9-0 run that started on a pair of Clarke free throws and was capped by Moretti’s third 3-pointer of the half for a 32-26 lead. Holyfield and McCullar would close out the half with a pair of baskets for the Red Raider seven-point lead at the break. Jones led Texas with 14 points in a first half where the Longhorns were 7-for-17 on 3-pointers.
Texas will play at Oklahoma on Tuesday in Norman before finishing its regular season by hosting Oklahoma State next Saturday in Austin.
On what he thinks was missing that led to today’s loss: “Our biggest key, and what we’re looking forward to most is our consistency and I think we played good for the majority of the game I think we’ve played good for some period of the game, but it wasn’t enough.”
On the upcoming games against Baylor and Kansas: “Our season is on the line. I feel like we’ve got to, come out ready. We’ve got to find our consistency because, I feel like now our back is against the wall and we got to bounce back. That’s the first thing we got to focus on you know better for the first one, then Kansas.”
TEXAS PRESS CONFERENCE
On adjustments to take the game: “The main adjustments we made were to ramp our aggressiveness up. If you look back three weeks, that’s exactly what Tech did to us at our place… they flat out won in the game. They were the aggressors in the second half and they out-scored us by a lopsided margin. So, that’s what we asked our guys to do and again, the key is our guys believed in it. It was a couple of X and O’s adjustments, because of how they were guarding. That game certainly was not an offensive masterpiece either way, but our guys worked extremely hard. We switched some more ball screens in the second half. Ramsey is tough to deal with either way, regardless of how you guard him. McCullar is a low, that and one he had was a real big play. It wasn’t so much about X and O adjustments, but more so about our guys’ mentalities.”
On the atmosphere: “This crowd is unbelievable here. The reality is anytime you go on the road and you deal with a hostile crowd, their interests are different than your interest, so there’s going to be some going at each other. I told our guys, “we are going to play this game against Texas Tech’s team and their crowd will do everything they can to insert themselves in the game,” and they did a great job of that. We just try to have a level of energy as a coaching staff that our guys can feed off, then we try to feed off of them.”
On playing against Tech: “Each game we play is always big, especially now getting into crunch time. It was a great win for our team, we still have two games left to go in the season. We just need to continue the streak that we have and continue that to our next opponent.”
On the atmosphere: “This is a great atmosphere, I think one of the best in the country and maybe even in the league. Their fans really get into it. Regardless of the same plays; air balls, turnover, shot for them, they go crazy. So, I think we handled the hostile crowd pretty well.”