Texas Tech basketball needed a win. Losers of their last four games and seemingly losing the swag that vaulted them to sole possession of first place in the Big 12, both the team and the fan base just.....needed this one.
All it took to get the job done was an explosive second half from Keenan Evans. TCU held Evans scoreless in the first half, but Tech managed to still keep the game close, trailing only by five going into the break. Coming out of the locker room, Evans poured in his game high 23 points leading the Red Raiders to a 79-75 victory. This was clearly the best performance for Tech’s leader since his injury. It has to give Evans and the team a confidence boost heading into postseason play.
Zhaire Smith and Niem Stevenson joined in the double digit scoring club with 15 and 11 points, respectively. Leading the way on the boards was freshman Jarrett Culver, who snagged seven on the day. The freshman standout had a quiet day on the offensive end of the floor, scoring only six points on just two shots.
Defensively, the Red Raiders had their hands full with Desmond Bane and Vladimir Brodziansky. Bane led the Horned Frogs in scoring with 21 points, and Brodziansky put up a solid double-double of 16 points and 10 boards.
The victory ensures Tech the #2 seed for the Big 12 tournament, the highest ever in school history. The conference tournament will be played March 7-10 at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. The Red Raiders earned a bye and will face either Iowa State or Texas on Thursday night.