Somehow the Red Raiders managed to turn the game around from trailing 32-16 at halftime to gain a victory. It was a tale of two halves where Texas Tech was ice cold shooting in the 1st half, then used pressure defense in the 2nd half to rattle the Falcons and get some much needed buckets to drop in the basket. Say what you want about the Red Raiders men's basketball team; but these guys have heart!
- Player of the Game | Devaugntah Williams - He finished with a team high 21 points on 8-12 shooting (3-7 from downtown) to help chip away and get a win. He also contributed 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. No basket was greater than his dunk with 26 seconds left in the contest that tied the game at 62 apiece. He had 7 points in the final 4 minutes of the game, and showed a nice shooting touch under stress. Williams is not only a pure shooter from beyond the arc. He can slash to the rim and finish when his number is called upon.
- Stat of the Game | Free Throws - The team had struggled from the charity stripe all season, but hit the free shots that counted in this game. They were 17-22 from the line, and used a free throw make by Rob Turner with 23 seconds left to get a victory. Before this game with Air Force the average at the free throw line was 65.8%. In this game they shot 77.3% to make a thrilling match turn into a celebration at the end instead of a heartbreaking loss.
- How the Game was Won | The full-court press and stifling defense caused the Red Raiders to get turnovers from Air Force. They converted those turnovers into points to chip away at the Falcons lead. Tubby Smith had the squad start using the full-court press midway into the 2nd half. This defensive pressure is what made the Falcons rush their shots and passes. In the 1st half Air Force was allowed to get their offense set and move the ball around for open shots. In the 2nd half when the Red Raiders turned up the heat Air Force had a tough time getting an open shot.
- Turning Point | With about 5 minutes left in the game Texas Tech had cut the lead to 56-44. That's when Randy Onwuasor dropped in a downtown bomb and Zach Smith got fouled under the basket on the play. Smith went to the line and hit his 2 foul shots which made the possession a 5-point swing. The game was 56-49 and the pesky Red Raiders never went away. You could feel the momentum move in favor of the home team while the fans really got into the game for the first time. The intensity was increased and the Red Raiders were fiercely cheered on by everyone in the United Supermarkets Arena. Things got live and Air Force knew they had a real game on their hands from that moment forward.
- Team Observations | These are the type of games that for the past few seasons usually end up a disappointing defeat for Texas Tech. We have been waiting for the moment that the Red Raiders could turn hard fought battles in wins. After the frustrating loss to LSU, many people thought that we were in for a similar season. Not this team. There was no heart-breaker for the Scarlet & Black in this game. We rose to the challenge of an uphill battle and came out triumphant. Goodbye football season, and hello basketball season. The Red Raiders are now 4-1, and could easily be 5-0. Let's get ready for the next one against Auburn in Lubbock on Wednesday. We hungry! Wreck 'em Tech!