In what seems to be a recurrence in Texas Tech basketball games, this matchup came down to the wire. With 1:14 left in the game, LSU’s Shareef O’Neal made a two point tip shot to climb the Tigers lead up to 7. After that, it was all Red Raiders (namely McClung and TJ Shannon). Those two combined for 12 points in the final 60 seconds to stun LSU in Baton Rouge, including this massive steal and score from Shannon to take the late lead.
Those two guys carried the team on offense, yet again. Shannon had a double-double with 23 and 10, with 21 one of those points coming in the 2nd half. McClung had another good offensive showing with 22, while McCullar chipped in 10 of his own. In what was another slow offensive start to the game, the guys rallied and scored when they absolutely had to.
Tech had a tough night from 3-point range only connecting on 7 of 23, with two of those makes coming in the last minute from McClung. While lacking from there, they made up for it at the free throw line where they went 17-21 as a team. Star freshman Cameron Thomas and veteran Ja’Vonte Smart both had stellar games, dropping 25 and 29 respectively. Outside of them, the Red Raiders were able to keep pretty much everyone else in check.
Though we relied upon a last minute rally to do it, this win will go far for us as a resume builder. Speaking of that, our win on the road in Norman sure is looking good right now. The only problem with that is the Sooners are heading to Lubbock Monday, and they may be the hottest team in America right now. In the month of January alone, the rattled off an unbelievable 4 wins over AP top 10 opponents. Today they beat #9 Alabama by 5, and that was without Austin Reaves.
If the Red Raiders were to lose against the Sooners, that would drop us below .500 in conference play which is not ideal. If we win, it would be another key game on the resume and possibly get us going on the right path at home. The guys tip off Monday night at 8pm on ESPN for the 2nd week in a row. This time around, let’s hope we can finish out the game and sweep a key series against Oklahoma.