Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Davide Moretti was pretty spectacular scoring 17 points on 4 of 9 from the floor, including 4 of 8 from the three-point line, making 5 of 6 from the free throw line, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 0 turnovers.
Defender of the Game: We’ll give this to Tariq Owens, who had 2 blocks on his way to 11 points, 3 rebounds and affects the game in ways that don’t always show up on the box score.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Jarrett Culver had a terrifically well-rounded game, scoring 18 points on 4 of 11, making 3 of 6 from the three-point line, 7 of 8 from the line, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers.
- The lede isn’t the score, it’s that two of Norense Odiase’s cousins died in a car crash on Thursday night. After the game, head coach Chris Beard said that it was Norense’s decision to play on Saturday and Beard heaped a heavy amount of praise on Scott Drew and the Baylor program who stayed after the game to pray for Norense on the court. Here’s coach Beard on Norense:
“It was Norense’s decision today to play in the game. I told him yesterday ‘take as much time as you need we’re here for you’. We all know this, basketball’s just a game. A lot more important things than basketball—faith and family on top of that list. I’ve said it before, Norense is one of the most disciplined winner that I’ve ever coached. He’s a great basketball player but he’s even a better man.”
- And I normally don’t quote opposing coaches, but this is a reminder that a lot of these players know each other, have played together, and are friends more than we probably like to think:
“I thought that, first and foremost, Coach Beard really did a class thing yesterday with Odiase’s cousins passing. Odiase was best friends with one of our teammates, Makai Mason, in junior high and Makai was excited to see him at the game. Coach Beard called me and allowed me to break the news to Makai, rather than him hear it from other people so we could be there for support. I really appreciated that from Coach Beard.”
- To focus on the game, one of the more important stats was that there were only 9 turnovers for the game, 2 of those 9 were by Malik Ondigo late in the game, so for a good 34 of the 40 minutes, this team essentially played error-free basketball.
- Culver really did it all on Saturday, leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists. That sort of overall game is what NBA scouts love and more times than not he doesn’t disappoint. Culver has seen his outside shooting stroke return a bit since going 0-6 against Kansas, Culver went 1-3 against West Virginia and Oklahoma, then 2-4 against Oklahoma State and 3-6 against Baylor. That’s a definite improvement and trending in the right direction.
- Culver, Moretti, and Owens were the only players in double-figures, but Mooney scored 9, gobbled up 2 steals, 1 assist, and no turnovers in 29 minutes. Francis scored 7 points, grabbed 3 boards, 2 steals, and dished out an assist. Kyler Edwards also scored 7 off the bench, while Deshawn Corprew really only takes shots he makes (he’s making 58% of his shots), scored 5, with 3 rebounds, an assist, and a block.
- The last play of the game Beard wanted Texas Tech to just run out the clock with the game put away and Andrew Sorrells threw an alley-oop to Avery Benson and Beard was absolutely livid. I mean livid. Beard was yelling at Sorrells and Benson as the clock expires, and is walking to shake hands with Drew and I’m not an expert lip-reader, but Beard apologizes profusely and Drew is gracious and accepts the apology, I think he said that it was okay. I’ll put it this way, Sorrells and Benson are probably going to run for a long time at some point this week, not because it was a bad play, but because they didn’t listen to him.
- Baylor was short-handed anyway, two of their starters was out for the game, so an already thin bench was even more stretched. Baylor shot 35% for the game and the only reason they stayed relatively close in the first half is that they made 7 of 13 three-point shots in the first half and came back to earth in the second making 2 of 12.
- While Texas Tech had a relatively low turnover game, the defense forced 19 Baylor turnovers and scored 25 off of those 19 turnovers.
- Head coach Chris Beard on the win:
“You just got to stay the course. In our locker room, there wasn’t much panic going on during that deal. We just understood that we lost a one-possession game at home to a really good Iowa State team. We gave ourselves a chance at two road games in the Big 12. You can’t get too high or too low you got to stay the course. Our objective has always been to be a part of the fight. I’m just really proud of this team, we’re a part of the fight. Here our second year we got right there, we’re part of the fight, and lost a lot of last year’s team. A lot of people thought that we weren’t going to be able to get back into the fight. You got to give those seniors credit. It starts with Brandone and Norense, returners that believed. Then there’s Tariq and Matt, came to this program to make an imprint from day 1 and they have. A lot of basketball left but I think it’s an accurate statement to say Texas Tech is a part of the fight right now with a few weeks left. We’re in contention for the conference championship and that’s our goal.”
- Texas Tech doesn’t have a mid-week game this week and will host Kansas on Saturday, February 23rd, at home, tip is at 7:00 p.m. After yesterday’s action, Texas Tech (9-4) and Kansas (9-4) are 0.5 games behind Kansas State (9-3), who lost to Iowa State (8-4) at home yesterday. I think the eventual Big 12 winner is going to be one of these four programs.