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Incarnate Word Reaction: Strong defense leads Red Raiders to win over the Cardinals

Jarrett Culver led the team with 16 points while Brandone Francis and Kyler Edwards each chipped in 10 points off the bench.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

After only holding a nine-point lead at the half, the Red Raiders came storming out of the gates in the second half, outscoring the Cardinals 48-7. The final score of this game, 87-37. The Red Raiders came out flat in the first half but made some corrections at halftime to put this game away relatively early in the second half.

The Red Raiders came out fast, with Davide Moretti attacking the basket and giving the alley-oop to Tariq Owens for the first points of the season. Moretti then drained a three-pointer the next possession to give the Red Raiders a 5-0 advantage. After some back and forth action between the teams, Brandone Francis then came into the game and got a quick steal to and score to give the Red Raiders a 13-5 lead.

Brandone Francis was very clutch this evening especially in the first half. He finished with 10 points, and helped keep the Red Raiders out in front in the first half. The Red Raiders climbed to a 10 point lead late in the first half but thanks to a quick 4-0 run by the Cardinals, the score was 36-30 with just a few seconds left in the first half. Jarrett Culver put a stop to that run by nailing a three point shot with just two seconds left in the half to extend the lead to 39-30 going into halftime.

After the halftime break, the Red Raiders took over this game. Jarrett Culver hit a huge three-point shot just a minute and a half into the second half to permanently put the Red Raiders up by double digits. The Cardinals didn’t even break double digits for the second half as they one got seven points in twenty minutes, with the Red Raiders keeping them scoreless for periods of four and a half minutes and eight minutes to end the game.

Defensive Player of the Game: Tariq Owens

The defense of the Red Raiders was suffocating, led by Tariq Owens’ 6 blocks on the night. That was over half of the 11 team blocks the team had the entire game. The Red Raiders have a legitimate 7 footer that can protect the paint this season for the Red Raiders. Owens showed his defensive prowess out there tonight, even while having a so-so game elsewhere. His timing on blocking shots is incredible and his three blocks on one trip down the floor was nothing short of amazing and for those reasons, he earns my defensive player of the game award.

Offensive Player of the Game: Matt Mooney

Mooney was a force tonight on offense as he recorded 12 points and 6 assists tonight for the Red Raiders. He shot 2-4 from three point range and hit three more shots, including a couple of baskets in the paint. Mooney was better at running the offense and finding the open man than I originally thought.

Player of the Game: Jarrett Culver

Culver makes the game look easy. He had 16 points, four assists, one block, and one steal tonight. He was everywhere on the court, making two three pointers and hitting two free-throws to have a complete game for the Red Raiders. He was also responsible for guarding the power forward spot a lot of the time, and was very successful. Culver will have to play a bunch of power forward moving forward with forward Khavon Moore still recovering from leg surgery earlier in the year.

What did you all think of the 50 point drubbing the Red Raiders put on the Cardinals tonight? Let us know in the comment section below!