Texas Tech basketball team erases 17-point deficit to down BYU in Lubbock

Brigham Young v Texas Tech
Brigham Young v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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Texas Tech turns up the defense in the second half

In the first half, BYU was allowed to essentially play a game of "Around the World" from the 3-point line with no real resistance from the Red Raiders. What's more, when Tech did actually crowd the Cougars in the backcourt, BYU was able to slip players beneath the defense and right to the rim for easy buckets.

The defense looked timid and uncertain to open the game as BYU's five-out offense caused some major confusion for the Red Raiders. That's one reason why the visitors were in a comfort zone on their way to shooting 54.5% as a team in the first half.

However, in the second half, the Red Raiders applied more on-ball pressure and got into the body of the ball-handlers. That seemed to bother BYU as they would go just 3-19 from beyond the arc in the half after shooting 10-20 in the first half.

Also, in the second half, Tech decided to take a page from the Houston Cougars' playbook and get physical on defense often bumping the BYU players off of their spots. Along the way, Tech got 22 points off of turnovers for the game to just four for the Cougars.

This isn't a dominant Red Raider team when it comes to defense. It is a far cry from the 2019 and 2021 Red Raider squads that were two of the best defensive teams in the modern era of the sport.

However, this year's team does play as hard on defense as anyone could ask it to. In the second half, Tech punched back first on the defensive end and that seemed to rattle the finesse-oriented Cougars giving Tech time to get its offense in rhythm.

Don't forget that BYU is one of the top teams in the nation in assist: turnover ratio. However, in this game, the Cougars had 15 assists to 12 turnovers, a ratio that is well below their standard.

That's a testament to how disruptive Tech was on defense, especially in the second half when the Cougars scored only 30 points and shot just 35.1% from the floor. Yes, Tech scored 85 points and Isaacs' offensive outburst will get most of the headlines but this game was turned on the defensive end where McCasland was able to get his team to take the fight to BYU.