Evans scores 26 as No. 7 Texas Tech beats Oklahoma, 88-78

Texas Tech’s best season in 13 years just got a little better.

Guard Keenan Evans scored 26 points Tuesday night as the seventh-ranked Red Raiders pulled away late to down No. 23 Oklahoma, 88-78, in a Big 12 game at Lubbock.

Alone in first place in the conference, the Red Raiders (22-4, 10-3) held OU freshman Trae Young to 19 points in running their winning streak to seven.

Texas Tech hasn’t won 22 games in a season since 2004-05, when the Bob Knight-coached Red Raiders finished 22-11.

Young entered the ESPN national-television game leading the nation in scoring (29.5) and assists (9.4).

In a strategy that proved effective, Tech employed traps with taller perimeter players in holding Young to 4 of 16 shooting.

Guarded alternately by Jarrett Culver, Zhaire Smith and Niem Stevenson, all of them with at least a three-inch height advantage, the Red Raiders hounded the 6-2 Young into an 0-for-9 night from 3-point range.

It was a eventful homecoming for Young, a Lubbock native whose father played for the Red Raiders.

Not only was the Tech defense all over him, so were the fans who booed and chanted.

“I get that everywhere I go,” Young told newsok.com. “Just because I’m back here in Lubbock, I didn’t think I was going to get a welcome-home type of feel.

“I wasn’t expecting anything different tonight.”

In the beginning, Oklahoma jumped out to an early five-point lead and hung on to lead by one at the half.

The Sooners (16-9, 6-7) continued to play well as a team and mustered a 64-63 lead with 8:51 remaining.

But the Red Raiders were too tough down the stretch.

After Evans drove for a dunk to give Tech an 81-74 lead, OU never got any closer.

Young even dribbled off his foot for a turnover on one possession.

Evans, a senior from Richardson, hit 9 of 15 shots from the field. He also tied a season high with 4 three-point buckets on 7 attempts.

Three other Texas Tech players reached double figures in scoring, including center Norense Odiase with 14. Smith scored 13 and Stevenson had 12 off the bench.

“We’re defending. We’re locking people down,” Odiase told lubbockonline.com. “We’re really harping on defense. … We’re tightening it up together in these last six to seven games. We’ve been playing on that end.”

Texas Tech beats Texas 73-71 at the buzzer in overtime

Keenan Evans hit an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer Wednesday night, lifting 10th-ranked Texas Tech to a 73-71 victory over Texas in an overtime thriller in Lubbock.

Kerwin Roach II made a 3-point shot with 12 seconds left to tie the game, setting up the dramatic final play.

Evans calmly brought the ball up and drained a shot over Roach from the top of the key.

“He made a tough step-back on me,” Roach told the team’s radio broadcast. “I guarded pretty well … but it was a tough shot by a good player.”

Evans led Texas Tech with a career-high 38 points on 9 of 13 shooting from the field. Evans was also 2 of 4 on three-pointers and 18 of 20 from the free-throw line.

Roach scored 20 to lead Texas.

Records
Texas Tech 18-4, 6-3
Texas 14-8, 4-5

A few questions and answers about the Big 12 basketball race

Sitting around on a Sunday afternoon wondering about a few topics of discussion in the Big 12 basketball race:

First, how did West Virginia contain Oklahoma’s Trae Young? Young, OU’s sensational freshman, scored 29 points but had to work hard to get every one of them. West Virginia ended up winning 89-76 in Morgantown even with its own standout, Jevon Carter, on the bench in foul trouble in the second half. Mitch Vingle of the Charleston Gazette-Mail breaks it down.

Second, who is Mitch Lightfoot, and why aren’t Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa playing for the Kansas Jayhawks? Gary Bedore of the Kansas City Star has some answers. On Saturday, Kansas registered an 88-84 victory at TCU with Lightfoot playing a leading role.

Moving on, how did Baylor finally get its mojo back? Well, for starters, guard Manu Lecomte emerged from his shooting funk and hit a few key three-pointers as the Bears downed the Texas Longhorns, 69-60, in Waco. In addition, senior center Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. out-played UT freshman Mo Bamba. Here’s a recap from the Associated Press.

And, finally, what is going on in Lubbock? Texas Tech kept it rolling with its eighth win in a row Saturday, a 74-58 home victory over Kansas State. Carlos Silva Jr. of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal has the story. Keenan Evans scored 27 to pace the Red Raiders, 14-1, 3-0, who are tied with West Virginia for the early lead in the conference.

Texas Tech makes history with first victory at Kansas

The Texas Tech Red Raiders guarded the three-point line effectively and came away with an impressive 85-73 Big 12 road victory at Kansas Tuesday night.

It was the first win by the Red Raiders at historic Phog Allen Fieldhouse in 18 tries, the Associated Press reported.

A good argument can be made that the Red Raiders won the game with their perimeter defense.

Kansas hit 17 of 35 three-point shots in a 92-86 win at Texas on Friday night.

Texas Tech didn’t allow the defending conference champions to shoot like that two games in a row, limiting the Jayhawks to 6 of 26 from long distance .

As a result, the 18th-ranked Red Raiders improved to 13-1 overall and 2-0 in conference under second-year coach Chris Beard.

The 10th-ranked Jayhawks, under veteran coach Bill Self, fell to 11-3 and 1-1.

“It’s impossible to stop ’em,” Beard said. “You just try to contain ’em, and you try to contest shots.

“Like, the way they shot the ball in Austin the other night, they’re not going to get beat, cause Texas did a good job contesting most of ’em. They’ll play on the final Monday (of the NCAA tournament, if they shoot well).

“You got to be fortunate and tonight, we were. They got some good looks. We made some mistakes on switches. So we were fortunate tonight. But you got to give our guys credit. I did feel like there was a sense of urgency to guard the three-point line.”

Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham led all scorers with 27 points, but he didn’t have much help.

In contrast, ten players played for the Red Raiders and nine of them scored.

Senior Keenan Evans led Texas Tech with 15 points. Justin Gray, Norense Odiase and Jarrett Culver added 12 apiece. Zhaire Smith scored 11.