Texas Tech 79, Richmond 72
- Texas Tech started out strong, then faltered a bit, then jumped out to another lead and then faltered a bit and finally closed out the game by a decent enough margin. Basketball is a game of runs and both teams made plenty of runs through the game, but Texas Tech was the better basketball team and they should have won by more. Easy for me to say, but even head coach Chris Beard’s comments after the game seemed to indicate that the win was good, but there are plenty of teaching moments from yesterday’s game.
“We learn with every game during the early season of nonconference,” Beard said. “I would have liked to control the game down the stretch but give Richmond a lot of credit. I knew they had a run in them. I think they are some valuable lessons to learn during this win. I remember at a young age being a player, and you hear coaches say you learn the best lessons when you lose. I just respectfully disagree with that. I think you can learn just as much in the victory as you can in defeat if you bring the attention and the information to the players. We’ll enjoy this tonight because of our respect for Richmond’s program. Tomorrow, they’ll be a lot of teaching points for our team.”
Texas Tech didn’t play good enough defense at all, for a team that was shooting 31% from the field, Texas Tech allowed the Spiders to shoot 45% and 36% from the three-point line. That’s probably the biggest thing, was that this was a top 30 defense and that may have deflated after yesterday’s game.
- Still though, Texas Tech won a game on the road and that’s something that hasn’t happed in a long time. Texas Tech has won plenty at home, but winning a true road game is something that just hasn’t happened and there’s something to be said for that. Especially with the late run that Richmond made, the team kept their composure, made their free throws and kept the Spiders at bay.
- The player of the game was Devon Thomas, making 7 of 11 from the field, 1 of 1 from the three-point line and scoring 17 points overall to go along with 3 assists, 2 turnovers, and 6 rebounds. Thomas and Anthony Livingston both returned home against Richmond, or close enough (Thomas is originally from Maryland and Livingston is originally from D.C.) and Beard said after the game that they maybe had 50 or so family members at the game. Thomas really has upped his play, so much so that he’s started for a handful of games and he doesn’t want to let go of that spot.
- Zach Smith was right there in terms of his play, recording a double-double, scoring 17 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, a block, 2 assists and no turnovers on the day.
- Welcome back Aaron Ross. A rusty start to the last game, having Ross backed helped he offense tremendously. He’s just such a threat from any point on the floor and he played 24 minutes scoring 13 points on 4 of 8 from the floor, grabbing 6 boards, but turning the ball over 3 times. Gotta get better there.
- Justin Gray again seems to levitate and play above the rim. I don’t know what’s gotten into him, but he’s playing the best all-around basketball I’ve ever seen him play, scoring 11 points on just 8 shots, with 9 rebounds, 4 assists and no turnovers.
- I did love to see Texas Tech absolutely dominate inside, grabbing 41 rebounds to just 28 for Richmond and also scoring 46 points in the paint and just 22 for Richmond.
- Beard is tightening up the rotation, only 8 players received significant minutes: Thomas, Gray, Smith, Evans, Livingston, Millinghaus, and Stevenson. Add in Odiase and I think that’s your top 9 players heading into conference play.
- Keenan Evans had another good game and he let the game come to him and didn’t try to shoot too much when others were having good games. Evans had 9 points, 3 boards, 5 assists and just 2 turnovers in 32 minutes.
- Up next is Longwood University on Wednesday, set for tip at 4:00 pm. You can purchase 4 tickets for $16 today using the promo code WRECKTHEHALLS and that sounds like a heck of a deal.