The Texas Tech Red Raiders led for the entire game and beat the Northwestern State Demons, 75-64. The first half wasn't the prettiest half of basketball as Texas Tech missed a handful of lauyps and short shots, but was still up by 9 on the Demons. The more we see this team, the more we learn that this is going to be a pretty deep team, at least it is right now, and head coach Tubby Smith is playing a ton of players, as 9 players played in double-digit minutes (Alex Foster played 9, so it was almost 10 players) and 4 players scored in double-figures
Star of the Game
G Robert Turner & G Randy Onwuasor: Turner led the team with 13 points on 4 of 8 from the floor and was also 4 of 6 from the free throw line, to go along with 2 boards and 2 assists and no turnovers. biggest stat of the game? 5 steals. That's huge flipping the court like that. Onwuasor had 10 points on the night, also 4 of 8 from the floor and had 4 assists with 3 turnovers, 4 rebounds and 1 steal. Gotta keep those turnover sdown, but good to see Onwuasor on the positive side of the assist to turnover margin.
1. Underrated Player of the Game. The guy that played the most minutes and the guy that probably had the biggest impact on the game, although i it didn't show up on the points, but he did show up in the stat sheet was F Zach Smith, who played 29 minutes, made 2 of 4 shots, grabbed 5 rebounds, had 2 assists, and was only given credit for 2 blocks, but Smith had a dfinite presence on the defensive side of the court and affected a few more shot, not to mention some terrific dunks in and finishes around the rim. For a guy that was so raw coming into college, he's really showing a ton of maturity and athleticism.
2. Gray Gets on Track. F Justin Gray finally got on track scoring 10 points on 5 of 8 from the field and he also had some terrific dunkds. Gray really showed why Smith continues to start him as he's got terrific athleticism and he's also contributing in other spots as he had 5 rebounds and a block in 23 minutes. It was good to see Gray get going a bit and a peak into what he will bring to the game.
3. Evans and Williams. Both PG Keenan Evans and SG Devaugntah Williams have been really good off the bench. Williams continues to light it up beyond the arc, making 3 of 4 from the three-point line. He's got a really terrific release, that's quick and when he's hitting, he really creates issues for opposing teams. Wililams also finished with 4 assits to 2 turnovers, so he's contributing in other ways as well. Again, for a true freshman, Evans really does a nice job of keeping in control for the most part and I like the way he handles the ball. There are times he gets a bit sloppy, but generally speaking, I think he's got a really nice handle and he's good enough offensively that I don't think there's that big of a drop-off, at least not what I anticipated, between him and Turner.
4. Continue to Work on Turnovers. I was really hoping that the team would really focus on not turning the ball over this game, but it didn't work out that way as the team had 15 turnovers to just 17 assists for the game. NW State isn't known for their defensive prowess and I think this is giong to be critical heading into Big 12 play, to continue to work on and take care of the ball. Things got a little sloppy in the second half, especially late. That just has to be corrected.
5. Sure Shots. As a team, the Red Raiders shot 48% from teh field including 47% from the three-point line. That's going to win you some games, to be that efficient on the offensive side of the ball. The starters shot 56% from the field and that seems to be the first time that I can recall this year that the starters have been that good on the offensive end. And then, it was the bench that really stretched things as they were 5 of 10 from the three-point line.