After losing their first eight Big 12 Conference games, Texas Tech is making a late push to earn an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament.
The Red Raiders can take another step in that direction Tuesday night in Norman, Okla., with a conference win over Oklahoma, another team hoping to make a statement in the final two weeks of the regular season.
Texas Tech (15-12, 4-10) has won three in a row, including homecourt wins over No. 12 Kansas State and No. 6 Texas that added legitimacy to the Red Raiders’ resume. Saturday’s 78-72 decision at West Virginia took that a step further.
It was their first road win in conference play and it happened because Jaylon Tyson scored a season-high 27 points. Fardaws Aimaq helped with 10 points in the game’s final 5:08, canning four crucial foul shots in the last 35 seconds.
“I’m excited for where we are. We’re not dead yet,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. “We’re still breathing and looking forward to the next game.”
Kevin Obanor leads four Red Raiders in double figures with 14.8 ppg, while De’Vion Harmon adds 13.7 ppg and a team-high 3.5 assists. Pop Isaacs checks in at 11.8 ppg and Tyson upped his mark to 10.8.
Tuesday is Harmon’s first time returning to Oklahoma as a member of Texas Tech. He played two seasons with the Sooners and one year with Oregon before landing in Lubbock.
Harmon just earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors after scoring a career-high 25 points against Texas and adding 13 against West Virginia. Sooners coach Porter Moser said Harmon brings “speed and power” to any matchup.
“He plays north-south. He does not play east-west,” Moser said. “That downhill speed has been something that he’s really done a good job with.”
Oklahoma (13-14, 3-11) missed on a great chance for a third signature win Saturday when it fell 85-83 in overtime at Texas. The Sooners could have forced a second OT, but Sam Godwin’s short jumper in the lane hit the back iron as time expired.
Oklahoma might be in last place in the Big 12, but it owns a 24-point blowout win over former No. 1 Alabama and also hammered Kansas State earlier this month. A Sooner surge in the last two weeks and the conference tournament could net them an at-large bid.
Grant Sherfield leads the Sooners’ attack with 16.8 ppg, while Jalen Hill adds 10.3 ppg and 5.7 rebounds.
–Field Level Media