Texas Tech found a way to stay unscathed through two games and now tries to build on that before embarking on a meatier portion of its nonconference schedule next week.
The Red Raiders entertain Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday in Lubbock, Texas, with their sights set on taking the next step after grinding out a win on Sunday against San Jose State.
To do so, Texas Tech (2-0) had to shake loose from the Spartans with an 18-2 game-ending run, a welcome finish on a tough offensive night.
“I thought our guys’ grit, rebounding and guarding just through a lack of offense, to be honest, shows that our team’s really mature, and I thought it was a gritty win,” first-year Red Raiders coach Grant McCasland said. “Our guys showed some composure and found a way to separate late in the game.”
Devan Cambridge was a spark for Texas Tech in the win with 15 points, and Joe Toussaint provided 10, bolstered by a three-point play that helped trigger the decisive closing salvo.
Pop Isaacs struggled to score against San Jose State but is averaging a team-best 13.5 points, while Darrion Williams is contributing 11.5 per contest. Those two are the only Red Raiders who have knocked down more than one 3-pointer so far for a team shooting an abysmal 20.5 percent (8 of 39) from beyond the arc.
Defense has been a strength so far for Texas Tech, as its two opponents have combined to shoot 31.7 percent overall and just 15 percent (9 of 60) from 3-point territory. The Red Raiders have also dominated the glass, averaging a 44-29.5 edge, led by Warren Washington (8.5 rebounds per game).
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2-1) got back on track on Monday by routing Dallas Christian 104-45, the second time in three games the Islanders have topped 100 points. In between, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi fell to another Big 12 Conference team, losing 82-50 to Houston after leading for seven minutes of the first half.
After the promising start, the Islanders couldn’t keep pace with the seventh-ranked Cougars, shooting only 24.3 percent (9 of 37) in the second half and committing 17 turnovers for the game.
Seven players average between 7.3 and 11.3 points per game, with Lance-Amir Paul coming off the bench to lead the way.
After Thursday’s contest, the Red Raiders head to the Bahamas for Battle 4 Atlantis and a first-round matchup against No. 21 Villanova. Texas Tech will meet either Northern Iowa or North Carolina in the second game.
–Field Level Media
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