Result :: Win : 72-71 : SB Nation Box Score
Record :: 16-7, 4-5
Big 12 Standings :: 7th (tied with Oklahoma St. and Oklahoma)
Up Next :: 02/13/2010 : Texas A&M Aggies : 17-6, 6-3
The Result :: Shocking. I admit that I've somewhat lost a little bit of faith with this team being able to compete on a consistent basis, especially on the road. I thought a win in Norman was going to be incredibly tough, especially considering how the Sooners took care of Texas over the weekend. And although the game could have been lost a handful of times, it just didn't happen, and I'm pleasantly and happily surprised. A couple of thoughts about the game presentation. First, I actually enjoyed listening to the announcers. I thought the color announcer was pretty knowledgable. Second, I thought this was an incredibly evenly called game. The disparity in free throws was only in OU's favor by 2 and there were missed calls, but I thought it was the right mix of letting the players play and keeping the game under control.
The Storylines ::
Out-Toughing OU: The one thing that I've always admired and hated about Jeff Capel's OU teams is that they were always an incredibly tough team to play. Not dirty, but rather that they played in your jock all night long and made things incredibly tough. I didn't get to settle into the game until about 18 minutes to go in the first half, and the one thing that started to settle in with me was the fact that Texas Tech was tougher than OU, especially in the first half, whether it was manning up or getting on the boards early and often and not giving the Sooners an opportunity at any second looks. The Red Raiders did an excellent job of holding Mason-Griffin to 9 points on 13 shots and with the rest of the OU offense dependent on Mason-Griffin making things happen. For whatever reason, prior to these last few games, the Texas Tech defense fell back into the 2008-2009 standards. These last few games, holding OSU to 39% and the Sooners to 42% has instilled in me some faith in this team.
Those Who Usually Don't, Did: I wasn't sure I was watching the right Texas Tech game as we got to see PF Robert Lewandowski score 5 points, grab 5 rebounds and mix in 4 fouls for the game. And bakup PG Mike Davis, who's consistently seen minutes since he stepped on campus is starting to get into the flow of playing in the Big 12. Keep in mind that Davis has been almost non-existent during Big 12 play, but he actually had an okay night, getting a bucket, a steal, an assist and a turnover. I mentioned before the game, that Texas Tech needed guys like SG Nick Okorie, SG David Tairu and SF Brad Reese to come up big and even though Reese's game frustrates me to no end, Okorie scored 8 points, grabbed 4 boards (2 offensive), and only turned the ball over once. Tairu finished with 9 points, 3 boards (all 3 offensive) and zero turnovers for the night.
Getting to the Dance: If this team is going to think about playing in the NCAA Tournament, it has to win some games on the road and get back to .500 in conference play. The remaining road games are Baylor, Nebraska and Colorado, while the remaining home games are the Aggies (this weekend), Texas, Kansas St. and Baylor. It isn't going to be easy, but this team must hold serve at home and that's not going to be easy. LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes that PG John Roberson understands how important a road win actually is:
"We’re trying to get to the tournament this year, and we really needed this road win," Tech point guard John Roberson said. "It puts us at 4-5 (in conference games), and hopefully we can keep this streak alive on Saturday at home."
The MVP :: PF Darko Cohadarevic: It would be real easy to give it to Roberson again, but Darko was 6 of 10 from the floor for 12 points to go along with 8 rebounds for the night. If Texas Tech can get that performance from Darko on a consistent basis then Texas Tech's chances of winning a few more games increases.
Four Factors, Player Impact, Stat Comparison and Game Flow: Terrific graphs from StatSheet after the jump: