The No. 8 Texas Tech Red Raiders lose their second road game in a row by a score of 67-58. With this loss for the Red Raiders, the Kansas Jayhawks now take over first place in the Big 12. This game seemed to be controlled by the Longhorns from the start and never relented the entire game.
Stay strong, Andrew. Keep fighting. pic.twitter.com/sRdJZqZ77j— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) January 18, 2018
Kerwin Roach II, a player who wasn’t originally slated to play tonight was the difference maker for the Longhorns as Roach had 20 points in his return to action tonight. Roach went 8-9 from the free-throw line and also had 5 rebounds. Mohamed Bamba had another double-double tonight with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Red Raiders were not able to contain the Longhorns inside and Coach Shaka Smart was able to take advantage of the Red Raiders’ lack of depth on the inside.
The Longhorns clearly outplayed the Red Raiders as most of the stat categories were close. The Longhorns outrebounded the Red Raiders only by two, and the Red Raiders had 5 fewer turnovers than the Longhorns. Texas also was able to get 9 more attempts and 6 more makes at the free-throw line than Texas Tech.
Tech had some bright spots as Jarrett Culver led the Red Raiders with 16 points and 9 rebounds off the bench tonight for the Red Raiders. Brandone Francis also continued his impressive week off the bench with 13 points. Zhaire Smith had 13 points and 7 rebounds in his third start in a row and Keenan Evans poured in 11.
The plain and skinny of it is that the Longhorns were able to control the paint due to the talents of Mohamed Bamba and the Red Raiders trying to play small ball for most of the second half. Tech’s strategy was to speed the Longhorns up and force turnovers. It worked to some point but Kerwin Roach II and Matt Coleman were able to break the press with some consistency and lead the Longhorns’ offense.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders will have to play better on the road this weekend in Ames, Iowa against the Iowa State Cyclones to get another win in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders showed tonight more than any other game how much they miss Zach Smith. With a broken foot, we hope he can return by tournament time. If Smith can come back, the Red Raiders will be able to play better against bigger teams. Also, congrats to the Texas Tech Lady Raiders on their first Big 12 win tonight against the Kansas Lady Jayhawks. What do you think of tonight’s loss against the Texas Longhorns? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.