Texas Tech is a good team without freshman sensation Jahmi’us Ramsey, good enough to beat top-ranked Louisville and stay in or around the Top 25.
But with Ramsey, the No. 23 Red Raiders are something special, and they’ll look to continue to show that when they host Cal State-Bakersfield on Sunday in Lubbock in their final game before the start of the grueling Big 12 Conference season.
Ramsey returned to the starting lineup and scored 15 points after missing the past four games with a hamstring injury and led the Red Raiders in their latest win, a 68-58 victory over UT Rio Grande Valley on Jan 21. That win extended a three-game winning streak for Texas Tech (8-3) and a 53-game nonconference home winning run.
“(Ramsey) was being aggressive, a lot of times people come off an injury and it takes a while for them to come back,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “He practiced full time Wednesday and Thursday, and we felt confident he was ready mentally and physically.
“We’re not big into load management. I won’t play a player unless they are 100 percent cleared by doctors and trainers.”
Ramsey is now leading the team in scoring with 17 points per game and has led Texas Tech in four of seven games he’s played in.
Terrence Shannon Jr. added 14 points and five rebounds, and he matched a career-high with three assists in the win, while Kevin McCullar led the Red Raiders’ reserves with 10 points.
The Red Raiders’ Chris Clarke, a Virginia Tech graduate transfer who filled the void during Ramsey’s absence, was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week this week after averaging a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds and four assists) per game in wins over Southern Miss and UT-Rio Grande Valley.
Clarke is the fourth Texas Tech player to earn Newcomer of the Week accolades this season. TJ Holyfield, Ramsey and Shannon have also collected the honor for the Red Raiders.
Cal State-Bakersfield (6-8) heads to the South Plains on the heels of a 72-50 win at Cal Poly on Dec. 21, its second win in a row after three losses. Taze Moore led the Roadrunners in their win by scoring 15 points, and the Roadrunner bench added 36, as CSU-Bakersfield employed a relentless and balanced offensive attack and a consistent defensive effort to post their first win on the road this season.
“I thought our team played extremely well and set the tone early,” CSUB coach Rod Barnes said. “We had great effort on both ends. That’s the type of team we want to be and we’re getting closer to being that team consistently.”
The Roadrunners outrebounded Cal Poly, 42-28, including 16 offensive rebounds that led to 13 second-chance points and 26 points in the paint.
Sunday’s game will be the Roadrunners’ final nonconference game of the season as well; they start Western Athletic Conference play on Jan. 4 versus Grand Canyon.
The two programs have played just once before, with the Red Raiders earning a 74-58 win on Dec. 27, 2011 in Lubbock.
–Field Level Media