Men’s Basketball Wins Big 12 Opener, Pushes Streak To 10
The Texas Tech men's basketball team opened Big 12 play on the backs of seniors Devaugntah Williams and Toddrick Gotcher who combined for 41 points in a 82-74 victory over Texas on Saturday January 2nd.
Texas Tech (11-1, 1-0 Big 12) is now receiving votes in both top 25 polls after leading this weekends game from start to finish pushing their win streak to 10 victories. This is the longest win streak since the program had a 12 game streak in 2003-04.
It was the first time since 2002-03 that Texas Tech has beaten Texas in both football and men's basketball.
Player of the game Devaugntah Williams racked up a team-leading 23 points and added three steals. He was 5-of-11 shooting and buried all 13 of his free throw attempts. For Williams, it was his third 20-plus point performance of the season and ninth 20-plus point effort of his career. Williams has finally realized his scoring potential and is one of the biggest reasons for rise of the Red Raiders in 2016.
Toddrick Gotcher has erupted for double figures in six of his last seven outings, and the 18 points matched his career-high during a Big 12 game. The Red Raiders have had at least four players amass double figures in eight of the 10 games during their winning streak.
Texas Tech knocked down 25-of-50 from the field and have shot 50 percent in three of its last four games. The Red Raiders were 5-of-12 from three-point territory and sank 27-of-30 at the charity stripe. It marked the seventh time this season that Tech has converted on 20-plus free throws.
Texas (8-5, 0-1 Big 12) put together a 25-for-60 shooting effort which included a 9-for-28 clip from beyond the three-point arc. The Longhorns made 15-for-22 at the foul line.
Isaiah Taylor exploded for 28 of career-best 35 points and dished out three of his game-leading six assists during the second half. He pumped in an 11-of-22 shooting performance and notched a 13-of-14 effort from the free throw line.
The Red Raiders fired out to a 9-3 advantage at the 16:23 mark of the opening half after Williams drove in for back-to-back layups and they never looked back.
“He (Odiase) got us going from the beginning with his aggressiveness and taking the ball to the basket,” Smith said. “I thought he made his shots. He took a couple of tough shots late in the game, but he was 5-of-5 in free throws. Norense and Zach are really clutch for us inside. They’ve got to be able to finish around the basket. When you have a win like this, it is a team effort. Everyone played well. You see that with our balanced scoring. That’s how we have to compete.”
Texas Tech snatched its largest lead at 43-28 with 18:30 to go but the Longhorns clawed back to within 67-61 at the 4:11 mark behind Taylor. He piled up the opening nine points and 20 of the team’s first 34 points of the second half.
Ross and Williams answered the bell for the Red Raiders and calmly drilled all 10 of their free throws inside the closing 1:44 to salt away the 8-point victory.
“We couldn’t stop Isaiah (Taylor), he was phenomenal,” Smith said. “We tried to take the ball out of his hands when he started shooting, but we didn’t have much success. For our team to be able to step up and make free throws is huge. It takes a lot out of your opponent. It gives a boost to your teammates and to me especially. Devaugntah is one of the best in the league, if not in the country, at free throw shooting.”