Texas Tech 85, Iowa State 82
* The Flex is a shout-out to Tubby Smith’s flex offense and a place for us to set some screens, make some cuts and discuss the game.
- Texas Tech finally did it. The Red Raiders finally pulled off the upset win at home. After so many close opportunities, Texas Tech did just enough to pull a huge upset win. That’s four conference wins for Texas Tech, which is one more conference win that last year and Texas Tech still has a handful of games left to play. Congrats everyone. A hard-fought win.
- The thing that’s always amazing to watch when playing Iowa State is how good they are at passing the ball. Won of a son, they know how to find easy buckets and guys cutting to the basket. That’s not luck, that’s skill and they’re so good at it. Regardless as to how good Iowa State is offensively, Texas Tech had some real issues guarding much of anything in this game and even though I tend to focus so much on the offense and how the offense is affected by the loss of Norensse Odiase, I think there’s a residual effect defensively as well. Space eaters are good and I think we’re seeing the effect of not having that big man around.
- Iowa State looked like they were going to cruise early. They made a ton of easy buckets and passes and it looked like they would just pull away from Texas Tech, but the Red Raiders kept at it and went on a nice run late in the first half. Texas Tech, unexpectedly, was making shots just as much as Iowa State.
- One of the things that Texas Tech was supposed to do to take advantage of the short Iowa State bench was to drive to the basket and that never really happened. Texas Tech was making and taking advantage of how they hit shots from the outside. One other tactic, that didn’t really pay off was Texas Tech pressed after made buckets, some in the first half and some in the second half. Morrris is such a good ball handler, I’m not sure how much it helped and I’m not sure if it really tired out the Cyclones.
- I really did wish that Texas Tech had taken the ball to the bucket, but that’s not always how these things play out. In theory, it makes sense, but it makes more sense to have a post player that can draw some doulbe-teams and create those sorts of opportunities. Unfortunately, Texas Tech can’t really play inside out because they lack that post player that can do that without Norense Odiase. This is why there’s so many shots from the outside and why the offense isn’t just throwing the ball down low. There really just isn’t that pivot player that can make opposing teams adjust defensively. Further, I don’t know that Texas Tech really has a big man that can really pass out of it. At some point, Zach Smith is going to have to learn some post moves.
- The game was 78-75, Iowa State with 1:25 left in the game and Iowa State’s Nader would intentionally foul Justin Gray, meaning Gray gets 2 free throws, which he makes 1, and retains possession. Devaugntah Williams finds Zach Smith and Smith draws a foul with 11 seconds clicking off the clock.Smiths makes 1 of 2 free throws. Iowa State wouldn’t capitalize, missing the one-and-one and Texas Tech would get the ball back, down 78-77 with 52 seconds remaining.
- Smith makes 1 of 2 free throws and the game is tied, 78-all. Iowa State’s Monte Morris shoots the ball and misses with about 4 seconds left. Texas Tech grabs teh rebound, Justin Gray, I think, and gets the ball to Williams, who is tripped up (I think a legitimate foul), but no call is made.
- Overtime. Texas Tech and Iowa State trade buckets and Keenan Evans, with just 2 seconds left on the shot clock shots a three-point shot from 8 feet (I don’t know, maybe 10 feet) from the three-point line and banks the son of a gun in. Texas Tech 83-80. Just 30 second s remain and Zach Smith gets a blocking foul on Niang, who makes both free throws. 83-82. After what seemed like an eternity, Texas Tech finally inbounded the ball and Smith is fouled and makes both free throws putting Texas Tech up by 3. Iowa State’s final possession was incredibly tough because Texas Tech played terrific defense with just 15 seconds left in the game. Evans defense was spectacular.
- Texas Tech had huge offensive games from Devaugntah Williams, Aaron Ross, Justin Gray, Zach Smith and Keenan Evans. Williams had a resurgence, scoring 19 points, but he drove a ton to the basket and that was huge for his game. Ross continues to score, almost at will, making 7 of 14 from the field and dropping 20. Gray dropped 15 points, a ton of huge three-point shots early in the game. Zach Smith had 12 points (including 2 huge free throws at the end) and Keenan Evans scored 17 points, a huge three-point shot from Post and only 1 turnover for the game.