The Red Raiders returned to the hardwood to host a really good Iowa State team. Overwhelmingly, the feeling entering the game was Tech must win if the NCAA Tournament was to remain a possibility. Texas Tech is quickly running out of games to make their case for a trip to the big dance and they really needed to find a way to catch fire the last four games of the regular season. All hope has not been lost, but the result of the game may have sealed the team’s postseason fate.
In the first half ISU came out hot from the three point line and they ended up making twelve of them. The game was played tight with each team making runs to extend their lead to around six points, but neither team could ever pull away. At the break the game was tied, 32-32.
Midway through the second half ISU put together a 9-0 run and it looked like they were about to blow the doors open on the game. Stevenson was able to hit a three pointer to stop the bleeding and allow Tech to get back in the game. That is how the game went the rest of the way. ISU would go up by six or seven points and then Tech would claw their way back.
With 5.1 seconds remaining in the game Keenan Evans hit two free throws to tie the game, but ISU still had plenty of time to get the ball down the court. ISU inbounded the ball to take the last shot, but committed a back court violation which gave the ball back to the Red Raiders for one last shot.
Zach Smith took the inbound pass and shot the ball with one second left, but missed as time expired. Regulation ended all tied up, 73-73.
Overtime was tight throughout, but again the Red Raiers found themselves playing catch up most of the way. The score was 82-80 with 6.7 seconds to play when ISU missed two free throws and Tech grabbed the rebound. With a chance to win or tie Tech got the ball down the court, but failed to get a shot off before time expired.
If you did not get a chance to see the game here are the highlights.
- Aaron Ross was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Anthony Livingston. Livingston has been quiet the last three games averaging only three points per game. This was Ross’ first career start in a Big 12 conference game.
- ISU made 12 three pointers in the first half, but that was it. Beard made the proper adjustments and the Cyclones did not make a single three pointer in the second half.
- Justin Gray fouled out with 31 seconds left in the game. He left the game with 16 points.
- Tech is now 15-3 at home this season.
- Zach Smith recorded another double double in the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
- Niem Stevenson led Tech with 17 points. Over the last five games he has averaged 17.4 points per game.
Next up the Red Raiders will travel to Oklahoma State on Saturday for a 1:00 tipoff.