Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Jarrett Culver had 20 points overall, 6 of 15 from the floor, a rough first half (like a lot of the team), 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals to go with 5 turnovers. But it was Culver’s second half, 4 of 9 from the floor, 6 of 8 from the free throw line, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, a block and 2 steals. That’s filling the bucket.
Defender of the Game: Well, in this particular case, I think the “Defender of the Game” was as important, if not more, than the “Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game”. Tariq Owens’ second half was straight fire, 7 points, 5 rebounds, 7 blocks and 1 steal. His defense absolutely affected Memphis and he was just huge.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: There’s no comeback without Deshawn Corprew and Brandone Francis, they were huge yesterday, Corprew finished with 12 points, on 4 of 5, 5 rebounds, and a block. Francis finished with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists (he was great passing the ball), and 1 turnover.
- Ugly first half. 50% from the floor, 25% from the three-point line, and 10 turnovers. There was no flow to the game and some terrible defensive miscues. Again, it was really ugly and Texas Tech looked really rattled. Memphis isn’t a good shooting team, they shot 35% in each half, but the Tigers made 30% of their three-point shots in the first half and made none in the second. Memphis also did us some favors, making 90% of their free throws in that first half, and only 47% in the second. Add in 11 turnovers for Memphis (they had 18 for the game) and they helped out quite a bit.
- Texas Tech made some shots too in the second half. The Red Raiders made 57% from the floor, 40% from the three-point line, 84% from the free throw line and reducing those turnovers to just 7 second half turnovers. Culver, Owens, Mooney, Francis and Corprew were the best players in the second half, and you could probably also add in Kyler Edwards. What I love about Francis is that he’s so versatile and he eggs on the emotion from the team, the interaction between Owens and him was great. And Francis not only scored 6 in the second half, but he dished out 4 assists in the second half, same as Culver. He helped set up those Culver buckets too.
- Mooney had a rough game, a couple of times he had his pocket picked a couple of times in the first half and he had to be better and he was, he scored a couple of buckets on successive opportunities, 2 rebounds, an assist, 3 steals, 2 turnovers, and 7 points. Moretti had a rough game and he was absolutely torched by Beard at some point in the first half and this was not a game that matched up with what he does, guarding smaller guards and keeping them in front of him is not his forte.
- I’d guess that Beard absolutely laid into the team at halftime. As mentioned above, Moretti felt his wrath in the first half and I’m guessing the team got a full version in the privacy of the locker room. This has become a pattern and I don’t know how many halftime rants that Beard has in his cupboard. At some point, the team has to do this on their own.
- Texas Tech very much limited the Memphis fast break, they finished with just 2 fast break points.
- Head coach Chris Beard:
“I thought above everything, we just stayed the course,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “On a night when some teams could say it’s not our night, we just stayed the course. We knew we couldn’t get it all back at once so we broke the game into little three and four minute games.”
- The basketball team has Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday, and then Northwestern State a week later on December 12th, Abilene Christian on Saturday the 15th, and then Duke on the 20th. The three games before Duke are all in Lubbock and of course the Duke game is in New York City. After the Duke game, there will be one more non-conference game, against UT-Rio Grande Valley at home on the 28th. Conference play begins in Morgantown on January 2nd.