Texas Tech Gets Back in the Win Column by Beating TCU
The bench led the way with 46 points and Aaron Ross got hot for 16 points in the 76-69 win over TCU on Monday night. Ross was 3-3 from 3-point range and that put the Red Raiders up for good with under 3 minutes to go in the game.
“The bench was the difference,” Smith said. “That group came in early during the first half did some great things and set the tempo. They created an up-tempo style of play, and we put more pressure on them. I thought they did a great job defensively as well. Our bench stepped up, played well and everyone gave us valuable minutes."
The Red Raiders moved to 12-5 and started the climb back to .500 in the Big 12 getting to 2-4 in conference play. This is the first win in the last 5 games breaking a 4 game slide and the first Big 12 road win since February 2014.
With the win Tech pulled within one win of matching its season total from 2014-15.
“It was a hard fought game,” Smith said. “I’m very impressed with TCU. They’ve played great basketball all season long. It gets a little dicey when you only have one win in the conference like we did and they did coming into the game. I thought our bench depth was the difference tonight. I was really impressed with our defensive effort which is something we’ve struggled with over the last few games. It’s a huge win for our team.”
Justin Gray continues to prove he is one of the most important pieces on the floor playing 33 minutes and sinking 5 of 7 from the floor including 2 treys. Matt Temple achieved career-highs with 8 points and 4 rebounds, while Devon Thomas chipped in 5 points and 4 assists.
Norense Odiase jumped out to 8 points and looked dominant before breaking his foot midway through the first half.
Zach Smith filled the box score with 6 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks. Zach will only be leaned on even more heavily now that Odiase will likely miss some time.
The Seniors Toddrick Gotcher and Devaugntah Williams had 5 points each.
TCU (9-9, 1-5 Big 12) turned in a 23-for-62 shooting performance which included a 6-for-18 clip from beyond the three-point line. The Horned Frogs hit 18 of its 27 free throws and scored 23 of the game’s 32 second-chance points.
Chauncey Collins racked up game-leading 19 points sparked by five treys, while Vlad Brodziansky tossed in a Big 12 career-best 18 points aided by an 8-for-12 mark at the free throw line and hauled down six rebounds. Michael Williams recorded six of TCU’s 11 assists.
“We’ve been struggling from the three-point line, but I thought we were able to make some early shots tonight,” Smith said. “The right guys were making shots. The reason we won the game tonight was because Justin and Aaron knocked down their open three’s. I thought we really pushed the ball up the court in transition, and that helped a lot as well.”
After Texas Tech was up for the majority of the game they went on a run to go up even more before TCU responded with a 16-4 spurt of its own to snatch a 68-67 edge with 3:02 left. Brodziansky led the charge for the Frogs with seven points which included the go-ahead free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt.
On Texas Tech’s next possession, Smith found a wide-open Ross off an inbounds play on the right wing. He sank the go-ahead three-pointer. The Red Raiders consolidated the trey with a pair of defensive stops. Ross split a pair of free throws at the 1:32 mark to extend the Tech advantage to 71-68.
After getting to that point in the lead Texas Tech salted the game away with solid defense and made free throws.
Texas Tech wraps up a stretch of four consecutive Saturday home games and will play its fourth ranked opponent in its last six games as No. 6 West Virginia visits United Supermarkets Arena. Listen in to Sportsline on Friday for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the game and as always free food just for a phone call.