Tonight, the Texas Tech basketball team will face TCU in Lubbock so let’s take a look at some numbers that we should all keep in mind as this game unfolds.
Texas Tech basketball head coach Chris Beard isn’t big on looking backward. That’s why you won’t hear any talk about avenging last month’s dreadful 65-54 loss to TCU ahead of tonight’s rematch.
But the theme of the game has to be centered around redemption, if not revenge. That’s because one could make the case that the defeat in Fort Worth was one of, if not the worst performances by a Texas Tech team in the Chris Beard era.
After building as much as an 8-point lead in the first half and sitting on top 31-27 at the break, the Red Raiders were dominated in the second half. Shooting 54.2% after halftime, the Frogs punched Tech in the mouth and found that the Red Raiders had no answer.
It was similar to the type of poor performance we saw Saturday in the first half of Tech’s game in Austin. But at least in that one, there was time for a comeback.
“The truth is we got outplayed tonight,” Beard said of his team’s performance in Cowtown. “We got out-competed tonight, they were the more aggressive team, and Bane played fantastic.”
The Bane Beard was referring to is Desmond Bane who dominated the game with 27 points as TCU’s leading scorer did whatever he wanted against a Red Raider program that likes to consider itself one of the top defensive programs in America. Meanwhile, Frog big man Kevin Samuel was a problem as well with 11 points and 11 rebounds as he seemed to intimidate and even frighten the defending Big 12 co-champs.
But since then, the tables have turned. These two teams are headed in vastly different directions.
While Tech is riding a two-game winning streak and has captured three of its last four games to move into third place in the Big 12, TCU has hit the skids. In fact, head coach Jamie Dixon’s team is winless since the first meeting between these teams.
The current five-game TCU losing streak includes setbacks at the hands of Arkansas, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Kansas and has dropped the Frogs to just 4-6 in the league race after they got off to a promising 4-1 start. Now on the outside of the NCAA Tournament window looking in, time is beginning to run out for the Horned Frogs if they have any hope of reaching the Big Dance.
Thus, they likely view tonight’s game as a tremendous opportunity and a so-called “must-win” game. The problem is that, in order to get their season back on track, they will have to pull out a win in the hornets’ nest that is United Supermarkets Arena where 15,000 strong will be foaming at the mouth to see another purple blood-letting in Lubbock where the Frogs have not won since 2015.
Chris Beard may not believe in talking about revenge but Red Raider fans do an that’s a huge draw for tonight’s contest. There is no love lost between these two universities and the Scarlet and Black faithful will be at full throat to try to help their team reassert its place of dominance over a program that has become little brother in this rivalry over the last four years despite trying to convince us all that it is a “big basketball school” as was printed on t-shirts that the people in Fort Worth handed out prior to the 2019 meeting with Tech…one that the Red Raiders won 81-66.
So as we get ready for round two between these long-time conference rivals, let’s get our minds right by taking a look at some key numbers that will help put this matchup in context. And we will start with a number that demonstrates just how poorly the Red Raiders played the first time around.