The Red Raiders (16-8, 7-4 Big 12) extended a three-game winning streak and earned their largest win in Big 12 history with an 88-42 victory over the Horned Frogs on Monday at the United Supermarkets Arena where Jahmi'us Ramsey and Davide Moretti led the way with 17 points each.
Tech, which returned to the Associated Press Top 25 on Monday afternoon after a two-week absence, finished the game with a season-high 13 3-pointers, shot a season-high 60.4 percent from the field and limited TCU to only 26.7 percent shooting along with committing 20 turnovers. The Red Raiders had a season-low six turnovers and five players in double-figure scoring to help avenge a 65-54 loss to the Horned Frogs on Jan. 21 to even the season series. Tech improved to 12-2 at home this season and to 62-7 at home under head coach Chris Beard.
"We always look at the defense first," Beard said. "To hold a good team, that's well coached, to a low percentage in the field, you have to give our guys credit. On offense, it's always nice to have balance and have guys in double figures and sharing the ball. That's always our idea of how to win around here."
Moretti and Kyler Edwards both finished the game going 4-for-6 on 3-pointers, while Ramsey and Andrei Savrasov both hit two for the Red Raiders who were 13-for-22 (59.1 percent) from beyond the arc. Up 45-20 at halftime after making nine 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes, Tech would go on to earn the 46-point victory that broke its previous Big 12 record of a 35-point margin established earlier this season with an 85-50 win over Oklahoma State. The win was the largest margin overall since a 50-point win over Incarnate Word to begin last season.
Ramsey finished the game shooting 7-for-11 from the field for his 17 points, while Edwards added 14 points, four assists and four rebounds. Chris Clarke led the team with five assists, while TJ Holyfield scored 10 points and had three blocked shots. Holyfield now has 19 blocked shots in the past five games for the Red Raiders who had seven blocks against the Horned Frogs after having a season-high nine last Saturday at Texas.
Kevin McCullar matched his season-high with 10 points, while Savrasov and Russel Tchewa both scored six points off the bench. The Tech bench scored 27 points in the game where the Red Raiders owned a 33-4 advantage on scoring off turnovers. Moretti matched his season high with four 3-pointers and now has 152 in his career which puts him ninth all-time in program history after passing Jerry Mason who had 151 from 1987-90 for the Red Raiders. Edwards had five 3-pointers against Iowa State earlier this season for his career-high and has now made 67 in his career.
"We were the more aggressive team," Moretti said. "I thought we played a completely different game than what we played at TCU. We were aggressive and knew we couldn't let Bane get loose for threes and that's how he gets confidence, so I thought we did a great job coming out aggressive and coming out the tougher team on the floor tonight."
The Red Raiders shot over 60 percent for the first time this season and over 50 for the eighth, while limited an opponent under 30 percent for the third time.
Desmond Bane, who scored 27 on Tech in the first meeting, was held to only seven points on 3-for-9 shooting with Jaire Grayer leading TCU with 10 points off the bench. The Horned Frogs were limited to only 3-for-19 shooting on 3-pointers and scored 15 of their 42 points from the free-throw line.
Texas Tech took a commanding 45-20 lead into halftime after making nine 3-pointers and shooting 61.5 percent from the field. Moretti led the Red Raiders with 13 points after going 4-for-5 on 3-pointers, while Edwards had 11 points with three 3-pointers and Holyfield was at 10 points by going 4-for-5 from the field. Tech started the game on an 11-2 run with Moretti hitting a 3-pointer on the first possession and Edwards hitting his first 3 to give the Red Raiders a 9-2 advantage before a Shannon dunk. Tech stacked a couple early runs together, including going on an 8-2 run that included a Holyfield 3-pointer after a blocked shot on defense and then a layup from him to extend the lead to 19-4. The Red Raiders led 34-13 on another Edwards 3-pointer and were up 40-13 on a McCullar basket. Holyfield ended the half scoring the final three points with a dunk and a free throw. TCU was limited to just 30.8 percent shooting and was 2-for-11 on 3-pointers. Bane was at five points at the break.
"It's certainly an easier game to play when shots are going in, but tonight we got a lot of open shots which I think is a credit to our passing," Beard said. "Guys made a lot of unselfish plays all the way down to the end. I also thought those guys that came in and finished the game played great. It's not easy when you haven't played and you come in towards the end of the game."
Texas Tech, which is 4-1 in the past five games, will return to action at 12 p.m. on Saturday against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Texas Tech Head Coach Chris Beard
On preserving the lead: "I think it showed great respect for TCU. We knew at halftime the game wasn't over yet. They gave us all, actually more than, we could handle when we played in Ft. Worth. I think it also showed respect for our teammates. Guys like Russ, Clarence, Andrei deserved some minutes and they did a great job of separating in the second half."
On holding Desmond Bane to only seven points: "Team defense. We don't have anybody that can just go out and guard him 1 on 1 because he's so good. He's one of the best players in the Big 12, but tonight our guys were dialed in. Bane scored 27 points on us in Ft. Worth and we didn't forget that, we remembered that. He's gotten better every year at TCU and he's one of the best in college basketball, so tonight we did our best against him."
On the game against TCU: "We talked about how we went down there (at TCU) and didn't execute like we wanted to, so we just wanted to go out there and execute the game plan this time.
On his performance and success this season: "I went through some adversity earlier and in my high school career, but you know coming here earlier and watching the guys in front of me last year going to the final four was big for me to experience that. Coming out this year just playing hard and I am glad to be back on the court. I just try to make plays on defense, and I cut hard on offense and just play my role and play my game pretty hard to try and compete every possession."
On the game against TCU: "We all knew that since we didn't play our best down there (at TCU), so we definitely talked about it in our game day prep and I thought we came ready to play. I would say when this team plays defense like tonight, I think we forced 20 turnovers, most of those were us making them turn the ball over, so you know we still have our defense and I think that's our biggest strength right now."
TCU Head Coach, Jamie Dixon:
On the game against Texas Tech: "Congratulations to Texas Tech, completely different tale then the last time we played them and we got everything we deserved. They played very well obviously, and they are playing well, shooting the ball well, and turnovers lead to open shots and they knocked them down. They were ready to play at a high level and they have been playing at a high level while we played a low level and that's where you get results like this."