Game Analysis | Texas Tech Red Raiders 64, Iowa St. Cyclones 70

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Spor

The Texas Tech Red Raiders were down big in the second half, but a furious comeback fell short, losing to the Iowa St. Cyclones, 70-64, in Ames.

You just can’t sleep on Texas Tech. Texas Tech isn’t a world-beater, but they’re going to stick with it and they’re going to play well enough to stay in most games. Texas Tech was down by double-digits in the second half, but actually went ahead late before falling to Iowa St, 70-64. This isn’t some sort of terrific proclamation, but to be able to have a team that doesn’t get blown out on the road in Big 12 games and isn’t even competitive is an actual step for Texas Tech basketball. It’s those sorts of depth that this team has sunk, but it’s not there any more. You get to be proud of this team again, not that you need my permission, but Texas Tech is playing with just about anyone right now. Of course, Texas Tech really gets to put that to a test this week as Texas Tech hosts Kansas.

Important Links
Official Site: Box Score | Notes
Media: LAJ

Star of the Game | F Jaye Crockett & G Toddrick Gotcher: Crockett was just terrific and a huge part of the comeback, but I think both he and Gotcher deserve to be mentioned here. When Texas Tech was in its worst spot, Gotcher was getting buckets and creating things for Texas Tech. Crockett finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 2 turnovers and 2 steals, while Gotcher finished 14 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 turnovers.

Three Takeaways:

1. Dominated in the Paint and Capitalizing on Turnovers:: It gets ugly for this one part. Iowa St. just pounded the ball inside and used any and every player that they could, which included Kane, and ended up with a 40 to 26 advantage in the paint. Not only that, but Iowa St. ended up with a 20 to 4 advantage on points off of turnovers. I don't know how much I blame Texas Tech because ISU was just making every attempt to make it tough for the Red Raiders by getting the ball inside. And that's the one thing about having a point guard like Kane, that can take advantage and score as well as distribute the ball. It's a tough matchup.

2. Creating Opportunities: Texas Tech is becoming fairly proficient at creating second opportunities, which is helping the offense be even more efficient than what they are. Texas Tech had 16 second chance points and had 14 offensive rebounds. That's a huge part of this team's success on this run that they have been on. I mentioned Gotcher and Crockett above and they were responsible for 7 of those offensive rebounds by themselves, so it's not the big guys battling, it's guys like Gotcher creating opportunities for this team. Teh offensive rebounding aspect of this team is an embodiment of what this team does, which is scrap on each and every possession.

3. Crockett’s Game: It's not easy to really figure out what Crockett does. He's not the best shooter. He's not the tallest player. He's not the best rebounder. What Crockett is, is a basketball player. A real good basketball player. Crockett competes for every loose ball, he makes plays when you don't think he will. If Crockett isn't named to as an All Big 12 selection at the end of the year, it will be a shame. Crockett's earned it at this point and he earned having a decent head coach in Tubby Smith. I cannot tell you how happy I am that Crockett was able to play for a coach like Smith. Crockett represents what we all are in some respects as basketball fans of Texas Tech. Like Crockett, we just don’t give up, no matter how bleak the situation looked at some point this past few years, and we stuck with it and although other fanbases just won’t get it, but having a team that’s competitive and not something that you get to ignore is pretty danged sweet. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate players like Crockett and fans like hte ones here on VTM that have stuck around through the bad times.

Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.

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