Texas Tech basketball: 3 reasons the Red Raiders beat Texas

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Feb 27, 2021; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Kyler Edwards (11) and forward Marcus Santos-Silva (14) react on the bench during the game against the Texas Longhorns in the second half at United Supermarkets Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech basketball team completed the regular-season sweep of Texas on Saturday so let’s look inside the box score to see how the Red Raiders secured the win.

There was once a time when beating the Longhorns was a rarity for the Texas Tech basketball program.  Even the great Bob Knight managed to beat UT just twice in 15 tries with the Red Raiders.

But securing a win in this series has now become almost commonplace during the Chris Beard era and the Texas alum’s domination of his alma mater continued on Saturday with a 68-59 win in Lubbock. It marked the seventh time in eight games that Tech has taken down the Horns under Beard’s guidance and it provided Beard’s team with a much-needed jolt of positivity after not winning a game since February 6th.

Mac McClung had 16 points and four other Red Raiders scored in double-digits as Tech led for almost the entirety of the second half after the game was tied at 33 at the intermission.  In fact, the home team managed to build as much as a 13-point edge after the break, a lead that would be whittled down to just a one-possession game but which would stay intact for the final 19:35 of the game.

“I thought today was a good game,” said Beard after the game. “Two teams that are trying really hard. Felt like last day of February type game. From our perspective, for the first time in a while we felt like we played stretches of Texas Tech basketball. We get the five guys in double figures scoring balance offensively. We had another low turnover game today, had a couple bad timing turnovers, but for the most part our guys took care of the basketball. Then, our defense showed up in the second half when we needed it the most.”

In that second half, the Red Raiders would hold Texas to just 5-25 shooting from the floor and 2-14 from the 3-point line.  What’s more, no Longhorn managed more than six points in the final 20 minutes of play.

Meanwhile, Tech was able to hit 11 of 25 shots after the break.  But it was the free-throw line where Beard’s team sealed the win.

Making 9-13 free throws in the final three minutes, Tech was able to keep at bay a Texas team that had erased a 14-point deficit to beat Kansas in its previous game.  And the two most important free throws came from an unlikely source.

With Tech leading 63-59 with 47 seconds to play, true freshman Chibuzo Agbo calmly stepped to the line and drained a pair of attempts at the stripe to put the lead back to six points and give Tech some much-needed breathing room.

The win moves Tech to 15-8 overall and 7-7 in Big 12 play.  It also put to bed a three-game losing streak for the Red Raiders who now enter the final three games of the regular season feeling far better about themselves than they did after dropping Monday’s game to Oklahoma State in overtime.

So let’s go inside the box score and see just how the Red Raiders were able to beat the Horns on Saturday.  And we will start by appreciating the fantastic defensive work TTU did on the Texas guards.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse