Texas Tech Men’s Basketball Wins 8th Straight
Player of the game Zach Smith turned in his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds as the Texas Tech men’s basketball team scraped out a 65-53 win over previously undefeated Little Rock taking it's streak to eight consecutive victories Tuesday, December 22nd, at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Smith was an efficient 6-of-9 from the floor and equaled a season’s best with three blocks over his 37 minutes of action. Smith has piled up 10 rejections over his last five outings. He has also reached double digits in scoring 6 of the last 8 games.
Texas Tech (9-1) was behind late in the first half before logging seven points over the final 2:40 of the first half and followed that up with an 11-3 spurt over the last three minutes of the game to tuck away the 12-point win.
“It was a hard fought game, we knew it would be,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “The intensity level was raised. There were a lot of story lines, so we wanted to make sure we were keeping our guys focused. I want to give a lot of credit to our team for staying poised. Little Rock does a great job, and we couldn’t really pull away from them until the very end. I thought our guys did some great things down the stretch to get the win today.”
Texas Tech was only 21-of-49 from the field, 4-of-15 from three-point territory and 19-of-30 at the free throw line. The Red Raiders collected a 39-23 rebounding advantage and have outrebounded their opponents by double digits in back-to-back games.
“I loved the way we came out in the second half,” Smith said. “We mentioned that their three-point shooting was at 38 percent. We had to shut them down. Then, they went 0-for-10 during the second half. That tells me that our guys are tuned in and understood the adjustments we needed to make at halftime. Against a good team like Little Rock, you need to find the opportunities when they present themselves.”
The two teams stayed between one possession of each other for a majority of the second half before Tech closed out the win with 11 of the last 14 points down the stretch.
“I think it’s going to help us out a lot,” Gotcher said. “In the close games where we come together, communicate in our mini huddles and just talk to each other, it makes it easier on us. I think in the Big 12 that will be what really keeps us together. Coach (Smith) does a really good job of making sure we are always together and respecting each other.”