Coming off of a brutal three game losing skid, the Red Raiders were desperate for any success that would come there way. On Saturday, they got exactly what the doctor ordered against the Texas Longhorns. For just the 3rd time in program history, Tech swept the season series against UT. The only other two times that’s happened? The 1996 Southwest Conference champion team and the 2019 Final Four squad. I would say that’s a good group for this year’s ball club to join.
For the first time in a long time, Tech truly played a complete game on both ends of the floor. It was good to see us keep it close, even when Texas maintained a lead in the first half. Too many times this year we’ve let teams jump out to 12+ ahead of us, and that is a recipe you don’t want to keep repeating.
The Red Raiders were very balanced offensively, with 5 guys finishing in double figures. Mac McClung led with 16 and Shannon followed with 11. Shannon seemed to be healthy and was ready to play some big boy ball, with six of his points coming off of some massive throw downs. This was one of only three that he jammed during the day.
Chibuzo Agbo played a very efficient 3 minutes in the game. He ended with 4 points, a block and an assist, all coming towards the back end of the 2nd half when they were needed to help seal the game. If he’s able to give us stats like that, look for him to play more in the near future.
The Texas Tech defense was stifling throughout the game, but especially in the 2nd half. The Longhorns only made six field goals in what was an ugly 2nd half for them. Of those six field goals, it took them over 9 minutes to get their first before Brock Cunningham hit a corner three to break the scoring drought.
If Jericho Sims is Texas’ leading scorer at the end of the day, you know you’re doing something right as a defensive unit. For as guard heavy as the Horns are, Tech did a great job at limiting the open looks from the perimeter. That made it super difficult for the three headed monster of Ramey, Coleman and Jones to get a whole lot going.
With Tech now entering into the final week of the regular season, it will be interesting to see where we end up. With Kansas knocking off Baylor, that gives me hope that we could possibly end the conference slate on a 4 game winning streak, hopefully pulling us out of that dreaded 7-seed in the Big 12 tourney.
The month of March has arrived, and that means we need to be playing good basketball nearly every time out. Hopefully yesterday’s win will get us on the right path and we can do just that. Beard knows how to get these guys ready to play and we’ve got three more chances to go and our proves ourselves before the postseason knocks on the door.