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Monday Morning Matador: big signings, speculation and heartbreak

Stick a fork in some of these sports. They are done!

Across the spectrum of sports, Texas Tech faced a variety of opponents that were reluctant to be in any sense push-overs. Let’s look at what went right and what went wrong.

Mens basketball earns victory, big recruits follow

In their third game of the season, Texas Tech faced off against the Southland Conference champion Lions on Tuesday. Southeastern Louisiana proved to be Tech’s most difficult challenge this year but multiple players were still able to manage impressive numbers. Norense Odiase, in dominating fashion, had a career-high 13 rebounds while Jarrett Culver kept the scoring going with a season-high 21 points. Tariq Owens had another productive night with three blocks to bring his season total to 10. Texas Tech was able to secure a 59-40 victory over the Lions with plenty of effort by the defensive side of the ball. Coach Beard noted that “you can’t always depend on jump shooting, [the] shots weren’t going down and we just got to figure out ways to get to the free throw line more, we’ve got figure out how to get more offensive baskets as our worse offensive rebounding effort. I’ll have to watch the film and try to figure out why. But it’s nice to see our defense carry us on a night where we really needed it.” Texas Tech has won 41 straight non-conference home games but will be facing off against USC tonight at the Hall of Fame Classic in Missouri.

Texas Tech picks up four multi-star recruits during the signing period

Coach Beard continues to impress Red Raider fans and national pundits alike with his successful recruiting. The recruits include: Kevin McCullar (guard), Jahmius Ramsey (guard), Russel Tchewa (center) and Khalid Thomas (forward). Three of these are ranked at four-stars while the other is a three-star. These recruits are coming into a program fresh off of its NCAA Elite Eight appearance, and will be looking to make immediate impacts on their arrival. You can find more information on them here.

Womens basketball falls to Idaho

Turnovers make or break a team, and the Lady Raiders fell to Idaho on Saturday because of them. Despite Idaho getting out to a lead early in the first quarter, Texas Tech stayed right on their heels by defensive adjustments throughout the game. Despite adequate play, the Lady Raiders gave up a discouraging 19 turnovers to the Vandals 7. This helped bolster Idaho’s offensive production, 30 points in the third, that eventually led to a 88-77 victory over Texas Tech. The loss is their first of the season, but offensively Chrislyn Carr led the team with 15 points, Sydney Goodson and Brittany Brewer followed with 14 points each and Zuri Sanders managed 11 points. Up next for the Lady Raiders, they will host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi tomorrow at 7pm.

Football loses fourth straight

After a tough bout against Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas, Texas Tech was looking to bounce back into winning form and bowl eligibility against Kansas State. Without starting quarterback Alan Bowman or star defensive linebacker Dakota Allen, the Red Raiders were fighting an uphill battle. Despite an impressive performance against Texas last week (albeit the multiple turnovers) Jett Duffey was incapable of even a touchdown against the Wildcats. McLane Carter was given some time late in the game but his first snap hit him in the knee and Kansas State recovered the fumble. Before this game, Texas Tech was averaging 383 yards through the air, ranking second-best nationally, but after four turnovers and 181 total yards they were unable to get it done. Texas Tech fell to Kansas State 6-21, with Clayton Hatfield as the only Red Raider to manage points. Up next Kliff Kingsbury will be looking for bowl eligibility against a Baylor team that is also one away from a bowl bid.

Volleyball sweeps Kansas State to gain momentum

In a three-game skid, Texas Tech volleyball was looking for victory when they took on Kansas State Saturday night. The Red Raiders were led by Brooke Kanas, who notched 19 kills on the night to help propel Tech to a 3-1 victory over Kansas State. Despite winning the first frame, the Wildcats would play in a relative mode of desperation as the Red Raiders took out all their frustrations from the recent loses. Chandler Atwood and Emily Hill finished with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, while Missy Owens was the ultimate conductor of the offense with an insane 45 assists. Emerson Solano was Tech’s strong defensive pillar as she tallied a match-high 23 digs; matching the second most by a Red Raider this season. The victory was the first time Tech has won in Manhattan since 2004, making history as their first ever series sweep of the Wildcats. Up next, Texas Tech looks forward to No. 5 Texas for senior night Wednesday at 6pm.

Penalty kicks give Red Raider fans heartbreak

After an absolute thrashing of Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Texas Tech took on No. 12 Virginia with hopes to advance to Sweet 16. For 110 minutes, the Red Raiders and the Cavaliers battled voraciously with their sights on a grander prize. Despite Virginia out-shooting Tech, it was the Red Raiders who presented the greatest challenges to the opponent’s goal keeper. Jade King had a 1-on-1 opportunity on goal that forced Virginia’s Ivory Laurel to make a stunning save. Then, Kirsten Davis had an incredible opportunity which - to this writer’s opinion - was squandered by poor officiating after Davis was dragged to the ground by a Cavalier defender and the play was allowed to continue. Tech goalkeeper Marissa Zucchetto saved the day most notably in the last two minutes where she tipped a rocketed shot over the crossbar. Texas Tech took No. 12 Virginia all the way to penalty kicks but the Cavaliers were able to sink four PKs to Tech’s two. Coach Stone noted that “they’re top-10 in the country in goals scored, and to shut them out and not get the win is a tough pill to swallow.” Co-captain Carly Wickenheiser reflected on the season with hope for the future of Texas Tech’s program: “Just because these seniors are leaving, that feeling and that desire is not going to leave with us. With the result tonight, I think they will realize that they can get more. The team that’s going to come back next year is going to be gritty and they are going to be a force that everyone is going to have to deal with. I’m really excited to watch that next year.”