Texas Tech Men’s Basketball Beats Minnesota in Puerto Rico
Devaugntah Williams has been so far this season what everyone expected him be last season: a prolific scorer. A guy that can go out and get you a guaranteed 15 to 20 points has been elusive for coach Tubby Smith.
Maybe Coach Smith has finally found his guy in Williams, who had a game-high 21 points during Texas Tech men’s basketball team's 81-68 victory over Minnesota in Sunday’s fifth-place game at the Puerto Rico tipoff.
Williams’ 21 points marked the first time in his career that he has secured four straight games in double figures.
The Red Raiders had five players secure double figures, bringing Tubby Smith's record to 19-5 against former schools. He was Minnesota’s head coach prior to his arrival at Texas Tech.
"You coach this game, you’d better not allow yourself to get too high or too low," Smith said. "That can’t enter into the equation because if you do, your decisions are not going to be what they should be."
It was not only Williams that provided points. Zach Smith added 15 points and six rebounds, while Keenan Evans tacked on 12 points and 5 assists. Senior veteran Toddrick Gotcher amassed all 11 of his points highlighted by a 3 of 3s in the second half.
Joey King and Carlos Morris headed the Gophers with 15 points each.
Minnesota was able to keep it close until Tech started a 17-6 run with 14 minutes left in the contest. With an eight-point lead with 10 minutes remaining, Gotcher launched another 3 and vaulted Tech into a 13-point lead that they would hold for the remainder of the game.
Minnesota would get as close as nine points, but Williams brought the Red Raiders to the finish line with the last six points inside the last 78 seconds for the winning margin of 81-68.
"I felt like Coach did a great job keeping us focused," Williams said. "At halftime, our biggest thing was the score was 0-0. Like against Mississippi State, we were up at half. They got closer and closer, and we didn’t want to let that happen tonight. We just stayed focused and kept at it."