Player of the Game | Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver looked great, but I’ll give it to Keenan Evans tonight. The senior starter was the top scorer in the game with 18 points hitting 4-7 from downtown. with a pair of assists and a rebound.
Stat of the Game | Baylor could not hang with our defense, and had a hard time getting the ball in the basket. Our Red Raiders held the Bears to only shooting 37.3% from the field on 19-51 FGs. Baylor also shot 3-12 from downtown to get a miserable 25% beyond the arc. Compare that to Texas Tech hitting 9-22 from 3-point range making 40.9% from downtown, and 26-52 overall from the floor at 50%.
How the Game was Won | Texas Tech came to play, and were ready from the tipoff. The defense stifled the Bears, and we made our shots in the first half to gain the big advantage. I never saw Baylor get any momentum, and Tech did what they needed to do to stay way out in front. In the second half we went punch for punch with the Bears and never let them back in the game. Anybody watching saw how we were the better team with all the energy. That killed Baylor!
Turning Point | When Niem Stevenson nailed the rainbow three to end the 1st half, it was the dagger that had us up 40-19 headed into the 2nd half. The Bears never really recovered, and it was a back-and-forth 2nd half with them that showed we had already ran Baylor down. We stayed locked in with our pressure defense all game long.
Team Observations | This Texas Tech team is so damn impressive! Coach Beard had passion along with all the players throughout the game. It was a fun game to be a Red Raider. One bad thing; Zach Smith got hurt by rolling his ankle in the first, and did not come back into the game. That was a decision by our staff to rest him, and we can hope that it is not too bad of an injury. Luckily we did not have to have him test out the ankle, as we coasted to victory.
Everything seems to be clicking with this team, and it is wonderful as our first conference game against a good Baylor team had this sort of outcome. Texas Tech showed that we are a real contender, and the Big 12 will take notice. Expect us to move up in the rankings, and now have a target on our back. Nobody is going to overlook the Red Raiders. We now have the toughest game on the schedule coming up next week as we travel into the dreaded Allen Fieldhouse to play the mighty Jayhawks. Yet, with this special group of players and coaches we have a shot to really make some noise if we can win on the road in Kansas. Wreck ’em Tech!!!