Monday night in Lubbock, in front of a national television audience on ESPN's Big Monday, Texas Tech sophomore Darrion Williams had arguably the best night any Red Raider has ever had. Scoring a career-high 30 points, the Nevada transfer was a perfect 14-14 from the field and free-throw line combined as the Red Raiders destroyed No. 6 Kansas 79-50.
Setting a record for the most made field goals in a game without a miss by a Red Raider with 12, Williams keyed a dominant effort by his team which fell out of the top 25 earlier in the day. But by routing the Big 12's biggest perennial bully, Williams and his teammates reminded everyone that they are not to be forgotten about.
It was a game that Texas Tech never trailed after jumping out to an early 12-4 lead and building as much as a 15-point first-half lead. However, a late run to end the first 20 minutes allowed Kansas to cut the lead to nine points at the break giving most Red Raider fans pause even after seeing their team dominate the game's opening frame.
In the second half, there was no drama to be found. Except, that is, for the ejection of Kansas head coach Bill Self who was sent to the locker room early at the 5:49 mark of the second half after receiving a pair of technical fouls for arguing an offensive foul whistled against his team. It was the first time in Self's 20-year Kansas tenure that he had been tossed from a game.
The win equaled the largest margin of victory Texas Tech has ever earned against Kansas. In 2019, the Red Raiders drubbed KU in Lubbock 91-62 in the same season that saw the program march to the National Championship game.
The win dropped KU to just 1-5 on the road in Big 12 play and lifted Tech to 13-1 at home this season. It also means that Tech now sits above the Jayhawks in the conference standings by a half-game at 7-4.
What made the win all the more improbable was that Tech didn't receive any other truly standout performance outside of Williams' big night. Warren Washington was second on the team in scoring with 11 points but the big man was hobbled in the second half with what looked like a foot or ankle injury that he tried to play through despite having to go to the locker room for treatment.
Meanwhile, Tech's leading scorer, sophomore Pop Isaacs, mustered just seven points on 1-9 shooting, his second-straight off night at home after he had only seven points on 2-13 shooting against Central Florida on Saturday afternoon.
One Red Raider reserve, Robert Jennings, did elevate his game on Monday, though. Playing an unusually high 20 minutes with Washington slowed, the sophomore scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds while playing excellent defense on Kansas' seven-foot center Hunter Dickinson. What's more, his breakaway dunk in the second half was the punctuation mark on an unforgettable evening in the Hub City.
Speaking of Kansas' star center, Dickinson, he was held to just five points on 2-12 shooting. That's over 13 points below his season average of 18.7 p.p.g.
What's more, his running buddy, Kansas' dynamic wing K.J. Adams went for only five points as well. That meant that the duo that averages over 31 points per game managed just ten total points on 3-22 shooting.
Rather, it was Williams who stole the show. According to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, he is the first player with at least 30 points,10 or more rebounds, and 100% shooting against a ranked opponent in the last 25 seasons.
It was the third straight double-figure game for Williams who had 13 against UCF and 17 against Baylor a week ago. But nothing he's done this year has come close to matching what he did on Monday night. In fact, it could be argued that no Red Raider has ever had a better showing than the one Williams put forth as his team ripped apart Kansas for its biggest win of the year thus far.