Texas Tech had not defeated Kansas in Lubbock since the final home game of the 2008-09 season under Pat Knight. Over the past two years they had lost by a combined total of three points. Tech lost by 16 points in Lawrence only three weeks ago, and looked completely powerless in that game. There was great reason to assume the Red Raiders would have revenge on their minds tonight, and coming into the game the team was a five point favorite over the Jayhawks. A fair amount of people throughout the country thought Tech would pull off a win in the first top 15 showdown in Lubbock since last year’s meeting between the two squads.
Not a single person expected Texas Tech to absolutely destroy Kansas by 29 points. 29 points! The largest margin of defeat in Big 12 play during the course of the Bill Self era. Tech put up the most points per possession of any team facing the Jayhawks in the Kenpom era (1.48 PPP.) To put this game into simple terms: Texas Tech completely outplayed Kansas in every area of the game.
The game started out with a 5-0 run for the home team. A couple quick scores from KU brought the score back to 5-4, and that would be the last time the Jayhawks were within one point of taking the lead. Two straight scores by Jarrett Culver made it 9-4,and that was only the beginning of the route. Threes by Culver, Davide Moretti, Brandone Francis, Matt Mooney, Kyler Edwards, and Deshawn Corprew were a part of an incredible first half on offense, as the six players put nine threes on the board. Norense Odiase had a great game in the paint on both sides, and his first half toughness set the tone for the rest of the game. Ultimately, the team ended the half on a 40-16 run to head into the half up 45-20.
Kansas came out of halftime with more energy than they displayed in the first half, as the cut the lead down to 20 points. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks hopes of a comeback would be short lived due to the pure offensive efficiency from the Red Raiders. A few Jarrett Culver drives extended the lead into the high 20s, and some more threes by Mooney and Francis pushed the lead up to 33 points (83-50), and in the end the white hot offense was able to carry Tech to a 91-62 win.
Culver ended the night with 26 points on a decent 10-21 shooting, however his playmaking was just as impressive, with his passing leading to four assists to no turnovers. Matt Mooney ended the night with 13 points and six assists, while Davide Moretti chipped in 11 points of his own. The frontcourt duo of Odiase and Owens played a key part on the defensive intensity for the Red Raiders, as they were able to shut down the paint for large portions of the game and handle perimeter switches. Odiase came up with 13 rebounds and eight points, while Owens put up a relatively quiet ten points. The bench trio of Corprew, Francis, and Edwards shot a sensational 7-9 from three point range, with each of the three scoring at least six points.
Player of the Game: Jarrett Culver
In the first game in Lawrence Jarrett Culver went 5-17 from the field and 0-6 from three, as he scored only ten points. Tonight he had 11 points in the first half, made three of his eight shots from deep, and put together a Big 12-high 26 points. Culver was sensational on both ends in the blowout of the Jayhawks, as he was primarily defending Ochai Agbaji to start every possession. Agbaji went 1-6 from the field and failed to hit a single three. Culver’s ability to orchestrate the offense efficiently with four assists and no turnovers was a crucial part of Tech’s sustained success on that end. Culver managed to play efficiently as a primary ball handler while still being lethal off ball, which is part of what makes him so valuable to NBA teams. With many scouts in attendance Culver put on a show on both ends tonight.