Kansas holds off Texas Tech 66-62

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Player of the Game | Moro was strong in the 1st half, and kept us in the game in the second half. Tech only had 2 players with double figures in scoring and Holyfield was the other one. Moro had another rough three point shooting game; yet he finished with 18 points, 5 rebound, 2 assists, ans a steal. All while KU had Dotson one him while he was running point on offense.

Stat of the Game | Rebounding… we have struggled all season against teams with a large inside presence, and our players were dominated at times by the Kansas frontcourt. It has been a nagging problem that Chris Beard has tried to adjust our small ball to compete with the large frontcourt players. Yet, it was evident in this one, like other games that KU was much bigger and stronger under the basket and in the paint than us.

KU out-rebounded us 46-36, and there were a couple of loose balls and long rebounds that bounced off the rim and got the lucky bounce towards a Kansas player. Though, when it came down to it KU was tougher on the boards than Tech.

How the Game was Lost | Kansas was out front the entire game, although you know to never count Texas Tech to lay down and give up. We were scrappy and stayed right on the heels of KU the entire way. I would say that up until the last minute it was anybody’s game to win. Yet, an issue we have had all season is closing out tight contests. We have not seemed to be able to win when the game is on the line. That can be a sign of youth and inexperience, but we will get over the hump this next season with a lot of these guys returning.

It was 10-10 about five minutes into the game and you could fell the energy. Tech came out to scrap and play for the win against the #1 team in the nation. Both teams played physical basketball, and Tech looked to be just as aggressive as KU. But, the size and strength advantage that Kansas had over the Red Raiders was noticeable. It was all tied up at 37-37 early in the second half, and we were very much alive. When Holyfield buried a three to make it tied again at 57-57 with only two minutes left, you had that feeling we were going to take this win away from KU.

KU was clutch in the last two minutes and made their baskets when it counted. Even with the thought that Moro was probably fouled on his three point shot with a few seconds left on the clock and we could have tied the game to possibly go to OT, Kansas had an answer to everything we did to win the game.

Team Observations |

  • Okay, here it is… I’m going to rant because I have to the other STP staff all season, look at that shot chart. It is no secret that Texas Tech has struggled with the frontcourt lack of size and strength.  But, damn we get our ass always handed to us under the basket. Kansas (and other teams that have size) shove the ball down our throats. KU had a pretty poor shooting day outside of the paint. Yet, the formula that teams run to break the Tech defense is get the ball inside and muscle your way to the basket. We need to fix this or else it’ll just be lights out when the team on the other side has size and length at their 4 and 5 positions.
  • As mentioned with the player of the game, I was happy to see Moro have a nice day on the court. Had he buried that open three when he stole the ball and popped up for a downtown shot during the second half, I think the top might have blown off the USA. When Moro is being forceful and pushing the ball, he does so well. Just need to get that 3 point shot to drop.
  • Ramsey, what can I say? He disappeared in this game. He is now the focal point of a lot of the teams we play, and they do not let him get easy looks or even easy touches on the ball. KU knew to shut him down, and they sure did a good job. Also, Ramsey seemed to be ice cold when he did attempt to get a shot off, not his day. And, we need Ramsey to get his points if we are going to go anywhere in the postseason.
  • I’m loving Big Russ, he is developing and getting better each and every game. He is a LARGE body we need to get in the games because of all the frontcourt problems. Russ is still extremely raw, but from the start of the season to now you can definitely tell a visible difference in his game.
  • We can get streaky with our shooting, yet we cannot rely on our mid-range or downtown shots to win games. We are too inconsistent with our jumpers. The way for our squad to win is to do what you saw Shannon do a few times in the game. Take the ball to the hole and fight your way to put the ball in the basket on drives.
  • We have UT on Thursday to kickoff our Big 12 tournament. While the end of the regular season ended in disappointment the last few games, it was heartbreaking. You know that Chris Beard is not going to let our team feel sorry for themselves. I think we get into the NCAA tournament with a win against UT… and I know we are the better team. Let’s go old school style and crash the boards and take that rock to the rim. We need to claw and fight to not let the other guys drive and get the ball inside near the rim. The postseason is here, it does not matter how the regular season ended if we can make a lot of noise in the tournaments. Wreck ’em Tech!!!

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