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Texas Tech Falls to LSU, 71-69

The Texas Tech Red Raiders stayed close with the LSU Tigers for much of the game and had a chance to tie the game in the last seconds, but fell short.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

When I finished watching that game I was frustrated because that last play was just awful. Texas Tech had crawled and scrapped back to the point where they have a chance to tie the game at the end of the game and the last play was just a mess. It wasn’t clear what was supposed to happen. Texas Tech lost to LSU, 71-69 I was pleasantly surprised this morning to find that I wasn’t the only one that was upset. That wasn’t the right play. That wasn’t what it was supposed to happen.

Star of the Game | F Jaye Crockett: Crockett’s first half kept Texas Tech in the game as he scored 14 of his 18 in the first half, but ended the game with only 18. Crockett really didn’t fill up the stat sheet in any other meaningful way, only 3 boards and a block and a steal, but would have liked a few more rebounds.

Three Takeaways:

1. The Last Shot: Make sure and click on the DMN or LAJ article, but HC Tubby Smith was clearly frustrated by that last play:

"It wasn’t even close," Smith said. "There were supposed to be three screens set and I don’t think one was set. Rob was supposed to turn the corner, it’s a two-point game, and he had an option. There was supposed to be a screen, then a flair screen and then a re-screen. I promise you there wasn’t one set. To shoot a fall-away three? No. That was not what was drawn up. That was my fault that we drew it up. We didn’t practice it today, but we will practice it tomorrow."

It’s true, there was maybe supposed to be a screen with Gotcher involved or something, but that mess wasn’t supposed to happen. DanSwany asked us what was better about this team this year and I answered by saying that it was the flow, that they are figuring out how to play basketball again. This play was indicative of the idea that they still have a ways to go, however, Smith isn’t just going to let it go. This team is still figuring out how to play basketball and Smith shouldn’t take the blame for the team not being able to execute some screens to open up a scorer.

2. Free Throw Dominance: For the first time that I can recall, Texas Tech had a clear and distinct advantage at the free throw line, against a team that has a terrific frontcourt in LSU. Randy Onwuasor led the team with 8 free throws and only scored 8 points and as a team, Texas Tech shot 39 free throws, making 31. Texas Tech was pretty aggressive and did drive a lot to the rim forcing LSU to play some players and getting to the line to help keep the game close. I think this team is really going to have to learn how to do this during conference play.

3. Can’t Shrink: I get frustrated watching Jordan Tolbert sometimes because I know the talent is there, but sometimes he shrinks during games. Tolbert only managed 4 shots and it was an ugly 4 shots and go ahead and add in 3 turnovers in 33 minutes of play. Tolbert did grab 6 boards, but I keep thinking that Tolbert is better than this. And he really has to figure out a way how he can help this team when the match-up isn’t all that favorable to him.

I would like to show some more appreciation for Dejan Kravic, who scored 8 on 7 shots and grabbed 10 boards. Kravic started incredibly slow this year and this game and the last game, Kravic showed something and looks like he’s getting out of that slump. That’s really good for this team.

Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.