Texas Tech 66, Kansas State 65
- I don’t even know what happened. Texas Tech was down for most of the second half after giving up a decent first half lead. With about 3 minutes remaining, Texas Tech was down by 4 and that felt insurmountable because of how the game was being played. Aaron Ross hits a few free throws and so does Kansas State to keep the game at 62-58, but Keenan Evans is fouled again, hits both of his free throws and now Texas Tech is just down by 2. Zach Smith is fouled and makes 1 of 2 free throws. Texas Tech down by 1. With 0:15 remaining Keenan Evans steals the ball, throws the ball to Niem Stevenson up the court where his layup is blocked and followed up by Keenan Evans. Kansas State comes down the court, misses a shot, the ball is rebounded by Niem Stevenson and a technical is called on K-State head coach Bruce Weber resulting in 2 free throws for Aaron Ross and Stevenson hitting 1 of 2 free throws putting Texas Tech up 66-62.Here’s the last few seconds:
- I’d imagine that Weber was angry that a foul wasn’t called on the last shot for K-State, the lay-up that went awry, but there also wasn’t a foul called on Evans’ put-back and it looked like he was hammered. You win some you lose some.
- That wasn’t a very good explanation, but it was a wild series of events that resulted in Texas Tech pulling out what seemed like an improbable win. Kansas State was playing fantastic defense. It was suffocating and that’s why a 4 point lead felt like it was way too much because Texas Tech was just laboring to score.
- I tend to think that the technical foul on Weber was B.S. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary from Weber, he wasn’t raving or anything like that, so it must have been something he said. Or perhaps it was a culmination of him leaning on the refs, but a coach doesn’t deserve a technical for the culmination of leaning in a situation like that with 5 or 6 seconds remaining.
- Keenan Evans played a terrific second half, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the second half. Evans went 7 of 11, had 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 turnovers and Texas Tech would not have won had it not been for Evans’ shot-making.
- Texas Tech only turned the ball over 9 times and I think I’ve written that before, where Texas Tech is under 10 turnovers in a game and that’s pretty significant.
- Zach Smith missed 3 free throws late that absolutely could have sunk Texas Tech. Other than those 3 missed free throws, Smith was pretty fantastic again, scoring 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and just 1 turnover. He had one terrific alley-oop and even made a 1 of 3 three-pointers.
- Aaron Ross scored 10 points, 5 of them coming off of those late free throws.
- Norense Odiase didn’t play and if he plays another game he cannot redshirt and he apparently he’s at 30%. There’s a good chance that he redshirts and doesn’t play the rest of the year.
- Devon Thomas finished with 6 points, 5 assists and 0 turnovers. Played pretty terrific defense in the second half too.
- Strangely, Stevenson struggled a bit from the field, making only 1 of 5, but it was Stevenson that grabbed the crucial rebound with just a few second left and he was the one that sprinted down the court to try to seal the game (it was blocked, but that’s okay).
- Chris Beard:
“I thought we stayed the course and gave ourselves a chance,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “The play at the end of the game – I haven’t seen it yet, but to my knowledge it was one of the best hustle plays I’ve ever seen where Keenan didn’t give up on the play with Niem. We’ve got a thing in our program we call a ‘Tuttle,’ named after one of my good friends and former assistants George Tuttle. George’s deal was you never give up on a play, ever. I thought it was like the classic football play where the wide receiver looks like he’s about to score the touchdown, but the defensive back just doesn’t give up. He runs 60 yards and barely pushes the guy out of bounds. I think that’s what I saw. I think everybody thought Niem had a chance to go win the game. Then Keenan, you know, I didn’t see it. I’m looking forward to watching it on film tonight. He just ran down the floor and didn’t give up on the play. So, I thought that that was one of the most intelligent, maybe one of the best plays I’ve ever seen in college basketball.”