Texas Tech basketball: What we learned in win over UTRGV

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In the Texas Tech basketball team’s win over UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, we learned that Jahmi’us Ramsey is healthy, this team plays down to the competition, and the offense is still struggling to hit from outside.

The Texas Tech basketball team moved to 8-3 on the year with a win over UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday afternoon.  But the 68-58 showing was not all that inspiring.

Attempting to make the atmosphere at the beginning of the game more lively, Tech implemented the new practice of having the fans stand to at the start of each half until the opposition scored its first point.

In the first half, the Red Raiders jumped out to a 6-0 lead and held the Vaqueros scoreless until the 16:53 mark.  To begin the second half, the Tech defense held the Vaqueros off the scoreboard until there was 17:10 left in the game.

Unfortunately, the fast starts in each half didn’t sustain for the entire 20 minutes.  After Tech went up 8-3 to open the game, Chris Beard’s team let the underdogs take the lead for the first time 16-14 by the 10:26 mark.

It was disappointing after the sluggish starts this team has put together in its last three home games.  Remember that back on November 24th, the final game before the 4-game road trip against Power 5 teams during which Tech went 1-3, the Long Island Sharks gave Tech fits in the first half and took a 42-41 lead to the break after nailing a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Likewise, Tech trailed Southern Miss on Monday night after the first 20 minutes of play.  Down 29-25 in the final possession of the half, Tech again allowed its opponent to drain a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Golden Eagles took a 32-25 lead.

That is a habit that is going to get this team beat if it persists into Big 12 play.  That’s something Chris Beard acknowledged after the game.

“We’ve got to get that consistency when we get in Big 12 play because if we don’t put two halves together it won’t be our day in Lubbock,” he said.

Those who view the glass as perpetually half-full will take heart in the fact that this team seems to respond after halftime.  In the last three games in Lubbock, the Red Raiders have played to an average advantage of 18.3 points per game after the break.

The pessimists among us will be quick to point out that this team is playing with fire.  Much like the football team we have been tormented by in recent years, this year’s Red Raider basketball team is making a frustrating habit of starting slow.

Starting with that game against Long Island, the Red Raiders have trailed at halftime in five of seven games.  The only two in which Beard didn’t have to rally his team at the intermission were the DePaul and Louisville games, both of which Tech led by three points after 20 minutes.

But regardless of how one views these starts, we can all agree that the Red Raiders are going to make life difficult on their head coach and fans if they continually play from behind in conference play.  That’s something last year’s team was able to avoid during its 9-game winning streak to end the regular season as their only halftime deficit during that stretch was in the regular-season finale when they trailed Iowa State by two points at the break.

Hopefully, Beard will be able to help his team learn that coming from behind is a recipe for disaster against Big 12 teams and that trend finally comes to an end.  Meanwhile, let’s look at what we learned in the win over UTRGV.

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