LUBBOCK, Texas – Kyler Edwards and Jahmi'us Ramsey scored 20 points each and Chris Clarke added nine points, nine assists and seven rebounds to help lead No. 23 Texas Tech to a 73-58 non-conference win over Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday at the United Supermarkets Arena.
The Red Raiders (9-3) extended the nation's second longest non-conference home winning streak to 54 games, have won 14 straight at the USA overall, improved to 7-0 at home this season and have won four in a row as they go into the start of Big 12 play. Tech, which led 33-29 at halftime, finished the game 9-for-17 on 3-pointers and limited its turnovers to nine in the win that snapped a two-game winning streak for the Roadrunners (6-9). The Red Raiders will now begin Big 12 play at 11 a.m. on Saturday against Oklahoma State (9-3) before hosting No. 7 Baylor (9-1) at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at the USA. Tech is coming off winning its first Big 12 regular-season championship after going 14-4 in conference play last season, including an 8-1 home record against conference opponents.
Edwards established a new career-high with his 20 points, including hitting three straight 3-pointers to start the second half that gave the Red Raiders a 42-31 lead. The 9-0 run by Edwards came after he had scored only two points in the first half and with Tech up two before he hit his first. Ramsey scored 20 or more points for the third time this season after going 6-for-10 from the field, including hitting 4 of 4 shots from beyond the arc. A freshman from Arlington, Ramsey is now averaging a team-leading 17.4 points per game and is shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 46.3 percent on 3-pointers. He scored 15 last Saturday in the win over UTRGV in his return from a four-game absence with a hamstring injury and would also add four rebounds and two assists against the Roadrunners. Clarke neared a triple-double against CSU Bakersfield with his nine points, nine assists and seven rebounds and now leads the team with 70 assists and 8.8 rebounds per game.
Terrence Shannon, Jr. added nine points, while TJ Holyfield had eight points and seven rebounds in the win. Holyfield was 4-for-6 from the field for the Red Raiders who finished the game shooting 24-for-49 (49.0 percent) and led the team with three offensive rebounds. Davide Moretti finished the game with two 3-pointers and with six points. Tech, which is averaging 17.3 assists per game which ranked 10th nationally coming into the game, had 16 assists on its 24 made baskets. Edwards finished the game 3-for-6 on 3-pointers and led the team by going 7 of 9 at the free-throw line, while Ramsey was 4 of 6 at the line. The Red Raiders were 16 of 25 on free throws in the win where the Roadrunners were 8 of 12. His previous career-high came last season as a freshman with 19 points when he shot 7-for-7 from the field with four 3-pointers in a win over Northern Colorado and he had a previous season-high of 15 against Houston Baptist. Ramsey scored a career-high 27 against Long Island and also had 25 against HBU.
Tech continued building on its lead that was established by Edwards and were up 14 on a Ramsey dunk with nine minutes to play and then 15 on a Clarke layup with 6:27 remaining. The Roadrunners cut their deficit to 10 at 62-52 with four to play before a Holyfield jumper and three Edwards free throws would push it back to 15 with two minutes on the clock. The largest lead of the game came at 19 with a monster dunk from Shannon in the final minute of play.
CSU Bakersfield had nine players score in the game, led by Justin Edler-Davis who had 10 off the bench and Cam Allen who had nine points on 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc. The Roadrunners finished the game with a 36-29 rebounding advantage but also had 17 turnovers in the loss.
Texas Tech led 33-29 at halftime with Ramsey at 11 points by going 4-for-6 from the field and 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, while Shannon had seven points, Moretti had six points with two 3-pointers and Clarke led with five assists and four rebounds. The Red Raiders were shooting 46.2 percent from the field with five 3-pointers, while the Roadrunners were shooting 46.4 percent but had eight turnovers. Tech had only four turnovers through 20 minutes but were being outrebounded by a 20-12 margin. CSU Bakersfield had seven players score in the first half, led by Cam Allen and Shawn Stith who had six points each off the bench. Ramsey had eight of his 11 points in the first half by the first media timeout to give the Red Raiders a 10-4 lead. The team went on an 8-0 run to lead 17-10 on a Clarke put-back before the Roadrunners fought back to tie the game at 20. Tech wouldn't relinquish the lead in the half and led 33-27 on a fastbreak basket from Edwards.
Tech is now 57-5 at home under head coach Chris Beard after running off three straight home victories over Southern Miss, UTRGV and CSU Bakersfield. After the games against OSU and Baylor, the five-game home stand ends with trips to West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 11 and Kansas State on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Butler has the nation's longest non-conference home winning streak at 58 after a 67-36 win on Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe. The Red Raiders who are 7-0 at home this season will host Kentucky on Jan. 25 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge at the USA in their final non-conference game of the season.
On Ramsey being a key player in the first half: "I think we had a bunch of team effort. Ramsey obviously scoring the most but I feel like TJ was doing his thing, and Kyler was doing his thing. I think it was a team effort."
On his approach to the game: "I go with the flow of the game. I have been playing basketball since I was two, so I have a pretty good feel for the game. I feel like sometimes I need to be more aggressive, but overall, I feel like I have a good feel for the game."
On his shot selection: "I think I just played basketball. If they came to me and I was open, I was going to take the shot. I give credit to my teammates, they were looking for me and I had enough courage that I could make a shot."
On his 9-0 run: "I think we needed a lot of energy and I think the shots I hit was huge for the game and it turned the whole game around."
On the team's rotation going into Big 12 play: "It really just depends on team to team. Everyone is in the mix right now, so we will play as many people as we need to, to win a game."
On the team's perimeter defense: "Work in progress. The more we can guard the ball better the less rotation we will need to get in, but we are prepared for rotations too."
On what he is most happy about coming from this game: "My respect comes from the team we played today. Their coach can really coach. He was controlling the tempo. He knows what he is doing. So, we just beat a really good team today, I am pleased with our team. To be entering Big 12 play on Saturday ranked in the top 25, having the second highest largest home winning streak in non-conference in college basketball, really making a dent in attendance. Just a lot of things we have been working hard on. Look, we have a young team. We start two freshman and play about five or six with two grad transfers who have only been in Lubbock for five or six months. We are a work in progress, and I think that I probably don't recognize that enough. I am proud of these guys. I am not satisfied and I never will be unless we can win that last game on Monday night."
On what he liked from Kyler Edwards against Bakersfield: "Not just tonight, I thought he stayed the course. Nobody has worked as hard as Kyler. Nobody wants to win as much as Kyler. Statistically, he has kind of gone through some adversity but tonight against who I think is the best team we have played in Lubbock this year, Kyler stepped up big. Kyler will be in the gym tonight. He will be in the gym tomorrow. I have a lot of confidence in Kyler and I know he is willing to do what him and I both want done."
Opening Statement: "I just want to recognize our crowd. It is a compliment each time we walk out there, we've worked so hard to build this program to the point where people can be proud of it and be consistent. I am not sure if we are there yet, but we are close. We appreciate people spending their time and money to come out and support our team. I just want to thank everyone who came to the game and thank the season ticket holders. A lot of students have stayed around and are coming to the games right now so it's really nice, thank you. Secondly, and equally as important, I just want to tell you how much respect I have for Bakersfield and their coach, Coach Barnes. He has been doing this for a long time and he is somebody I look up to, guys in my kind of age bracket grew up watching his teams play. They were everything I told the guys they would be today. It is a good team. A postseason team. A team that will compete for the championship and a team that has an identity. A team that does not quit, and they're really good so I am pleased as much as I have been in a long time. Sitting up here after a victory and the main reason why is because I think we beat a well-coached team. It's going to be an RPI win for us in my opinion. I wish those guys and Coach Barnes the best of luck this season and I have a lot of respect for the way they play the game of college basketball."