In the Texas Tech basketball team’s 91-64 win over Iowa State on Saturday, Chris Beard’s team had its best offensive showing of the season.
Sometimes the game of basketball is rather simple. That was the case for the Texas Tech basketball team on Saturday as seemingly everything that Chris Beard’s team threw towards the rim found its way to the bottom of the bucket in a 91-64 win.
Considering that it was a Big 12 road game, we would have to consider this the best offensive showing of the season by the Red Raiders who moved to 10-3 on the year and 3-2 in conference play. For the game, Tech shot 58.9% from the floor including a sizzling 61% in the first half as they built a 54-30 advantage to the locker room.
It was strange that Iowa State never went to a zone defense to try to disrupt the Red Raider offense, especially given how Tech has struggled against that type of defensive scheme in Big 12 play. But given how hot Tech was in Ames, it probably would not have mattered what scheme the Cyclones ran, even had the home team been allowed to have a sixth defender on the court.
Leading a balanced scoring attack was Kyler Edwards who had 19 points, 16 of which came in the first half. He was 6-9 from the floor and 3-5 from 3-point range as he continues to shoot the way this team needs him to on the heels of a December slump.
But while Edwards was an offensive catalyst, Tech’s player of the game was Kevin McCullar Jr. who had an outstanding all-around showing. Recording his first career double-double, the sophomore scored 15 points and collected 11 rebounds while coming up with two steals and even blocking a shot.
Also efficient on the day was Mac McClung who had 18 points on 8-10 shooting. What’s more, Jamarius Burton had his best game as a Red Raider with 11 points, six assists, and five rebounds off the bench.
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This was a critically important win for the Red Raiders. Sure, beating the now 2-7 Cyclones is nothing to write home about but with the stretch of games this team is about to face, picking up this victory was essential.
Next week, the Red Raiders will play at No. 4 Texas on Wednesday before hosting No. 2 Baylor on Saturday. Thus, entering that brutal two-game stretch on a positive note by beating the Cyclones was a must.
Fortunately, Beard’s team came out hot and essentially put this game on ice in the first 20 minutes. Leading just 9-8 with 15:41 to go in the first half, Tech went on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 17-8, the first breathing room of the afternoon for either team. Then, later in the half, a 14-2 run would stake the visitors to a 40-22 lead to essentially put Iowa State on the mat for good.
This marked the third-straight win in Ames for the Texas Tech basketball program, a feat that was once nearly unimaginable as Hilton Coliseum has traditionally been a house of horrors for the Red Raiders. But that has started to change during the Beard era as he now owns half of Tech’s six all-time wins in Ames.
Hopefully, too, the Red Raiders’ offensive sluggishness is starting to change. They have now averaged 86.5 points per game in their last two games after previously putting up an average of just 64 points per game in their first four games against Big 12 opponents and Houston. And if Tech shoots the way it did on Saturday, it could topple either of the top-5 opponents that it will face next week.