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Texas Tech secures first ever Big 12 title with huge win at Iowa State

Jarrett Culver led the Red Raiders to a crucial 80-73 win to clinch a share of the Big 12 title

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders have done it! With a 80-73 win over the Iowa State Cyclones they have clinched a share of their first ever Big 12 title. Behind a career high 31 point showing from superstar Jarrett Culver, the team was able to rally back from multiple eight point deficits. The win for Tech was their first in Ames since 2011.

Iowa State got started with two back to back threes from Marial Shayok, who was initially questionable to play. A quick 8-0 run spurred a timeout by Chris Beard, and the Red Raiders were able to respond with a 9-0 run of their own. The two teams would go back and forth until Iowa State sprung out to another eight point lead at 36-28 with only a minute left until halftime. Thankfully for Tech Matt Mooney and Davide Moretti hit back to back triples to bring the Red Raiders within two. Moretti and Culver kept the Red Raiders in the game with 11 and 12 points respectively, however an 0-9 showing from the bench kept Iowa State ahead.

The second half started with a huge three by Jarrett Culver to take the lead, and despite Iowa State’s responses it was clear the second half would be Culver time. He scored eight points in under five minutes, and with the help of Moretti and Mooney brought Tech in front. Iowa State would continue to fight through the second half, with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 7-0. Unfortunately for the Cyclones the best player on the court was wearing red. Jarrett Culver put the team on his back down the stretch, scoring six points in two minutes to bring Tech ahead. Davide Moretti would put the finishing touches on the game with four straight points to put up his third 20 point game since Big 12 play began.

Culver finished his Big 12 season with a career high 31 points on 12-19 shooting. Moretti put up 20 points on 6-12 shooting (4-6 from deep), while Matt Mooney added 13 points of his own. Tariq Owens would add eight points and a season high 14 boards. Marial Shayok and Lindell Wigginton led the Cyclones with 17 points each, however neither player shot over 50%. Iowa State’s bench outscored Tech’s 32-6, however 11 threes from Tech (nine from Moretti, Mooney, and Culver) made the difference.

Texas Tech will not play again until Thursday in the Big 12 tournament. They will be the two seed unless Kansas State loses to Oklahoma tonight, in which case the Red Raiders would be the outright champions and the one seed. This will be the first time in 23 years that the Red Raiders head into the conference tournament as champions, so regardless of seeding it should be a fun experience.

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