There have been plenty of times this season when Texas Tech has played well enough to beat anyone, but there have also been games where the No. 22 Red Raiders have just flat failed to punch in.
Expect Texas Tech to bring its lunch pail and a bit of anger to the court, and maybe even a little better shooting, when its hosts suddenly surging Texas on Saturday afternoon in Lubbock, Texas, in a key Big 12 Conference game for both teams.
Texas Tech (18-10, 9-6 Big 12) heads home after a 65-51 loss to Oklahoma on Tuesday in Oklahoma City. The setback snapped a two-game win streak for the Red Raiders, who came into the game off a 30-point win at Iowa State and after capturing five of six their past six outings.
The Sooners held the Red Raiders to a season-low 51 points. Texas Tech shot 33.3 percent from the field, 5-for-15 on 3-pointers and went just 4-for-5 at the free-throw line.
“We played like a frustrated basketball team (against Oklahoma),” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “When our shots were not going in early, I felt like we began to press. There are lot of ways to win basketball games when you don’t shoot well, but we didn’t do well creating other opportunities.”
Kevin McCullar led the Red Raiders with 13 points while Chris Clarke had 11 points. Jahmi’us Ramsey, who came into the game second in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.3 points per game, was held scoreless for the first time in his career, going 0-for-8 from the field.
“There was no question that tonight’s game was very important to (Oklahoma),” Beard said. “From our point of view, it’s disappointing because it was just as important for us. I thought we had our guys ready to play, but we obviously didn’t.”
Texas, meanwhile, heads to the South Plains on the heels of a 67-57 victory over No. 20 West Virginia on Monday. It was the third straight win for the battered and bruised Longhorns, who were without the service, due to injury or illness, of four players who have started games this season.
“Our guys really exemplify Texas fight,” Longhorns coach Shaka Smart said. “We haven’t talked to the guys about the negative stuff people say about us. What you are seeing the last few games is the back against the wall and still fighting.”
The win was Texas’ second this season over a ranked opponent and it put the Longhorns into a position to make a run for an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Andrew Jones scored 22 points, 16 in the first half, for Texas (17-11, 7-8), with Courtney Ramey adding 21 and Matt Coleman III hitting for 13 in the win.
“Over the last couple of games, me and Courtney have just felt a chemistry. It’s beginning to click,” Jones said. “With guys out, it’s forcing me to step up. When two players are in sync, you can do great things and lead a team to victory.”
Texas Tech earned a 62-57 win over the Longhorns on Feb. 8 in Austin in the teams’ first meeting this season to extend a five-game winning streak in the series.
–Field Level Media