The No. 18 Texas Tech Red Raiders upset the No. 10 Kansas Jayhawks by a score of 85-73. This is the first time in history Texas Tech has beat Kansas in Phog Allen Fieldhouse. The Red Raiders led the entire game and was dominant at some points in this one. The big headline from this game will be the defense, the team play, and overcoming adversity. In my preview today, I mentioned three keys to the game, the following is how the Red Raiders succeeded at all of my keys and beat the defending Big 12 champs in their house.
The Red Raiders was dominant on the boards, even with Zach Smith not playing many minutes tonight. This was due to a great team effort, as Norense Odiase led the way with 8 total rebounds and 4 offensive rebounds. Three of the other starters had 6 rebounds as the Red Raiders were able to exploit the depth of the Jayhawks and out-rebounded Kansas 44-29. The Red Raiders had 18 offensive rebounds and had tons of chance points.
2. Perimeter Game
In order for the Red Raiders to have won this game, they had to control the perimeter and they did to perfection. The Jayhawks did not make a three-point shot the entire second half and shot 6-26 the entire game for a 23% clip. Although the Red Raiders did not make many three-pointers either, they controlled the three-point line on both ends of the floor and were able to use that advantage to pound the ball inside.
3. Drive the Rock
Keenan Evans is clutch. He single-handedly put away the Jayhawks on the offensive end of the floor by driving the rock. Keenan went 7-8 from the free-throw line, hitting 5 of those late, and ended with 15 points and 6 rebounds. The Red Raiders as a team were amazing from the free-throw line as they shot 21-25 as a team for 84%.
Player of the Game - Norense Odiase
Norense Odiase is my Player of the Game. Odiase scored 12 points on 4-6 shooting from the field and 4-4 from the line and 8 rebounds, four of which were offensive rebounds. Odiase played very well against Udoka Azubuike, Kansas’ starting center. Odiase also was fighting for rebounds and played a season high in minutes. Odiase was the defensive leader for the Red Raiders tonight. Look for his role to continue to expand, especially since it looks like Zach Smith is not 100%.
Texas Tech is for real. They have now beaten 2 straight top-25 teams and 4 overall this season. Justin Gray is another player’s whose play I wanted to acknowledge. Gray scored the team’s first 8 points and was the spark that started the fire that was this win. I also admire the play of our three freshmen of the bench. They all stepped up tonight and were cool under pressure in what will most likely be the most hostile environment they will face all season. The Red Raiders were also able to keep the turnovers at a manageable number, 10. They forced 15 and were able to capitalize on those turnovers. The Red Raiders took a huge step towards winning the Big 12 tonight with this statement win against Kansas.