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Monday Morning Matador: the house that Beard built

We’re looking history square in the face

I just have to leave this here:

Now that you’re awake let’s catch up on an exciting week of athletics for Texas Tech.

Men’s basketball advances to the Final Four after Michigan and Gonzaga

Texas Tech’s basketball team is advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in program history! After an exciting first two rounds against prolific teams, the Red Raiders faced off against a highly praised Michigan basketball team in the Sweet Sixteen. The matchup was top three defenses slugging it out against each other for the first half of play, really only seeing one side slip away at the half where Tech led 24-16. The 16 points Michigan scored were their lowest in tournament history. The second half fell incredibly more Texas Tech’s way as Jarret Culver, Davide Moretti and Matt Mooney notched double-digit performances (22, 15, 10 respectively). Tech’s stifling defense stayed on brand and kept Michigan to 32.7 percent shooting from the field and 1-for-19 on three pointers. The Red Raiders were able to cruise to a comfortable 63-44 win over Michigan and set up a back-to-back visit to the Elite Eight. Their opponent? The No. 1 offensive powerhouse, Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs and the Red Raiders met up in a battle of giants. The number one defense versus the number one offense, but as they say “defense wins championships.” Touting a 33-3 record entering the game, Gonzaga was averaing over 88 ppg behind star forward Rui Hachimura who averaged near 20ppg. The first half was high-flying and wild, playing right into Gonzaga’s strengths of fastbreak points but the Red Raiders were able to manage a similar pace with big three pointers from a number of players. At the half the Zags were ahead 37-35, but fans knew the Red Raiders would dial up the intensity. Tech’s defense bent at times but snapped back by forcing a number of turnovers that frustrated Gonzaga’s game plan. Culver led the team again with 19 points, earning the West Region’s Most Outstanding Player awards following the game. Mooney also turned it on with 17 points, Moretti with 12 (two crucial 3-pointers late) and Tariq Owens finished with nine points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. One of which will cement him in Texas Tech lore forever. After forcing 16 turnovers on Gonzaga, Texas Tech was able to seal out the game and win 75-69. In the post game presser, Coach Beard had this much to say to the national media: “Texas Tech is going to the Final Four... some of you look surprised.”

Up next for Texas Tech, they’ll face off against Michigan State in the Final Four, Minneapolis. Winner advances to the NCAA Tournament Championship.

Lady Raider tennis advances to 4-1 in conference, 14-5 overall

The Lady Raider tennis team notched an impressive win over Kansas State with a 4-3 win Sunday afternoon. Despite the Wildcats getting out to an early lead, Felicity Maltby made sure to set a tone with a dominating 6-1 victory over Kansas State’s Maria Linares. Kansas State jumped back into the front one last time with Olivia Peet dropping a two-set match. Following that, Nell Miller and Lana Rush were sure to place the Lady Raiders ahead for good, 3-2. Finally Denise-Antonela Stoica finished strong and throttled K-State’s Karine-Marion Job 7-0 to give Tech the 4-3 victory. Texas Tech improved to 14-5 on the season, 4-1 in Big 12 play. The win marked the Lady Raiders’ third ranked win of the season. Up next they will return to Lubbock to host Baylor on Thursday.

Baseball takes Kansas State series after big doubleheader performance

Texas Tech clinched its first Big 12 series win of the season by sweeping a doubleheader at Kansas State by scores of 11-4 and 4-3. Their first game was an absolute hitting clinic: the Red Raiders had 14 hits and 11 runs. Pitching was exceptional as well, shutting out Kansas State 6 of the 9 innings. In the second game there was a much tighter margin of error for both teams. Despite being in an early two-run hole, Tech battled out and regained the lead at 4-3. It would be all that they needed with Junior left-hander Dane Haveman at the helm; pitching three scoreless innings and allowing the freshman closer Clayton Beeter to get his fifth save of the season. In their third match up on Sunday, Texas Tech held the lead through six innings, 3-2, before Kansas State posted three runs at the bottom of the seventh to take a 5-4 lead. Tech wasn’t able to get another run and dropped the series finale, but claimed the series. Coach Tadlock improves to 16-7 against Kansas State, and Texas Tech move to 18-7 on the season (3-3 Big 12). Up next, Tech will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., for a two-game series against New Mexico.

Spring game gives Coach Wells some perspective going forward

Coach Wells finally got to observe his first full scrimmage as Texas Tech head coach and held a few opinions regarding players. In the run game, Ta’Zhawn Henry showed promise as Wells noted his “good vision and good balance.” Henry carried it six times for 29 yards. Another rusher, SaRodorick Thompson, managed a good-looking touchdown run after five carries for 11 yards. Through the air Alan Bowman went 5-of-12 for 37 yards, Colt Garrett went 8-of-10 for 104 yards and Jett Duffey went 4-of-9 for 58 yards. The defense was the shining piece of the scrimmage, however. There were two forced turnovers: a 52 yard pick-six from Adonis Brown and then a forced fumble from Trey Gentry that was recovered by Michael Nelson. Tacklers were a plenty as Brayden Stringer and Patrick Curley each had four, Broderick Washington Jr. had two tackles for a loss (one for a safety) and Houston Miller also managed a tackle for a safety. Coach Well’s final comments were simple enough, saying “the offense has different goals, and the defense has different goals. I, as a head coach, it’s more of an evaluation more than anything. It’s our first big evaluation. We’ll certainly go back in and evaluate this tape.”The highlight of the afternoon, however, came midway through the scrimmage when Luke Siegel, the Red and Black Give Back Fearless Spectator for Saturday, cleared both sidelines after a touchdown straight down the middle. Fans will have two more opportunities to catch the Red Raiders this spring as Tech. The Midland scrimmage is this Friday at Grande Communications Stadium and then the third scrimmage will be at The Star in Frisco April 13.

Texas Relays sees Texas Tech set program record in 4x100 relay

In their annual trip to the Texas Relays, Texas Tech finished with several trips to the podium and a school record. Of most note, the 4x100 relay team broke the school record behind the speed of Keion Sutton, Divine Oduduru, Andrew Hudson and Jacolby Shelton who posted a 38.87. Hudson managed to set another program record on his own during the 100m, posting a 10.17 second finish: the fifth-fastest time in school history. Alaysha Johnson placed fifth in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.26, thengrouped up with Tiffani Johnson, Daja gordon and D’Jenne Egharevba to post a 45.11 time in the 4x400 - seventh best in the event. Charles Brown continued to impress in the long jump, lunging for a 7.84 meter finish that is good enough for sixth-farthest in the world this season, fifth in program history. Click the link above for more information on individual athletes. Next up for the track team they will head to Texas A&M for the Reveille meet.

Softball takes series over Iowa State with come from behind win

Softball took their talents to Ames, Iowa for a conference series against the Iowa State Cyclones this past weekend. Their first game was all Texas Tech with the team scoring three runs in the third, one in the fifth, and four in the seventh to complete a 8-3 victory. Their second game against the Cyclones wasn’t as fortuitous, however. Tech held a 5-4 lead in sixth after notching a run in all-but-one of the prior innings, but Iowa State was able to steal away two runs in the bottom of the seventh to clinch a Cyclone victory, 6-5. The last game played out similarly to the first, with the Red Raiders having an explosive fourth inning and seventh inning to clone their first victory, 8-4. With the win, the Red Raiders clinched their first Big 12 Conference series of the season and improved to 29-6 overall. Up next for the Red Raiders they return home to Rocky Johnson Field where they will host their next series against Longhorns on April 5-7.