Duke routs Princeton, 101-50, in warmup for Texas Tech

Duke sensation Zion Williamson caught an elbow in the mouth in the first half, but that didn’t slow down the Blue Devils, who — figuratively speaking — smacked Princeton around for most of the rest of the night in a 101-50 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Next up for the second-ranked Blue Devils? A trip to New York for a meeting with the undefeated and 12th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. The game is set for Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Records

Duke 10-1
Princeton 5-5

Individuals

Duke — RJ Barrett, 27 points, 6 rebounds. Zion Williamson, 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks. Princeton — Myles Stephens, 19 points, 3 steals.

Notable

The Blue Devils had 14 blocked shots and 12 steals. It was the fifth time Duke has had 10 or more blocks in a game this season. Duke had double digit steals for the fifth straight game, which is tied for the third-longest streak in school history and the longest since a five-game streak in the 2000-01 season.

Quotable

— Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, in comments posted on the school’s website:

“The guys played great defense tonight, especially against an extended dribble. I thought RJ (Barrett) did a great job on (Devin) Cannady, who is an outstanding player. He didn’t leave him. His length and not letting him get the ball, and even when he got it, the length was a key factor in stopping him.

“Tre (Jones’) pressure on (Jaelin) Llewellyn was key, and for the most part we kept them out of the paint. And when they did get in the paint, our big guys came over and blocked a lot of shots. Which is what they are supposed to do and they did it.”

Duke-fueled hype on the horizon for 10-0 Texas Tech

The 11th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders are taking a clear-eyed view of their 10-0 record leading into a Thursday night game in New York against the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils.

Asked late Saturday night how he will “coach emotion” in preparation for Mike Krzyzewski’s perennial ACC powerhouse, Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said it won’t be a problem.

“It’s kind of a non-issue with us because we got these seniors,” Beard said. “These four seniors, they know that 10-0 doesn’t mean much.

“We’d much rather win our last 10 games. That means you’re going to win the Big 12 tournament and the national championship.”

The Big 12 regular-season schedule starts in January, and Tech is expected to be a contender in the conference race.

But until then, the Duke game promises to be a topic of discussion locally, as well as in the biggest media market in the nation.

Conversations on the game could very well spin off into issues, such as:

1) Whether the Red Raiders are as good as advertised. After all, they lost a lot of talent from last year’s Elite Eight team, and their best victories this year, thus far, have come against Southern Cal, Nebraska and Memphis.

2) Whether they can guard Blue Devils freshmen RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson, already considered as NBA lottery prospects.

3) Whether they can deal with the hype of a game played in the biggest media market in the nation.

As a coach, Beard seems much more concerned about how he will deal with the Blue Devils’ talent, and not so much the intangibles.

Tech seniors such as Brandone Francis, Matt Mooney, Norense Odiase and Tariq Owens seem to instill confidence in the coach.

So does sophomore Jarrett Culver, who scored 30 points Saturday night in an 82-48 victory over Abilene Christian.

No doubt, Beard has some swagger about him.

“With some younger teams, I’d worry about things like (a big-game atmosphere),” Beard said. “But with these four seniors leading this team, and (with) Jarrett Culver being a best-player type guy …

“You know I got a lot to worry about, with the next game on the schedule (against) a Hall of Fame coach, and NBA (caiber) players. I don’t worry much about our guys not being focused,” he said.

Texas Tech moves up to 13th in AP basketball poll

Texas Tech has moved up seven places to No. 13 in the latest installment of the Associated Press Top 25 in men’s basketball, according to the poll released Monday.

The Red Raiders (7-0) remained undefeated with a 78-67 victory over the Memphis Tigers Saturday night in Miami.

Center Tariq Owens led the comeback victory with six blocked shots in the last nine minutes as the Red Raiders put together a 33-10 run.

For the game, Owens finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks.

Texas Tech is the third school for Owens, from Odenton, Maryland. He played one season at Tennessee and two at St. John’s.

In his first year with the Red Raiders, the 6-foot-11 graduate transfer is averaging 7.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocks.

Big 12 notebook

Ranked 17th last week, the Texas Longhorns dropped out of the Top 25 after losing at home last Friday night to the Radford Highlanders … Big 12 teams in the poll this week include No. 2 Kansas, No. 13 Texas Tech and No. 16 Kansas State.

Surprise teams

Three surprise teams in the Top 25 are the Nevada Wolf Pack, the Buffalo Bulls and the Furman Paladins.

It’s not so surprising that Nevada is in the poll, but it is that they have zoomed up to No. 6. Last year, the Eric Musselman-coached Pack started to make waves with victories over 10th-seeded Texas and No. 2 seed Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament. They were ousted in the Sweet 16 by Loyola-Chicago. This year, they’re 8-0, with their latest victory a 73-61 decision over Southern Cal.

Meanwhile, in New York, the Nate Oats-coached Bulls are 7-0, including road wins at West Virginnia and Southern Illinois. They also notched recent victories over Milwaukee and previously undefeated San Francisco in Belfast, Ireland. Last year, Buffalo knocked off fourth-seeded Arizona in the NCAA round of 64.

The Paladins, under coach Bob Richey, made the poll for the first time this week at No. 25. Furman is also 8-0 with victories over two of last year’s Final Four teams, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers and the defending champion Villanova Wildcats.

Top 25

1. Gonzaga 8-0 West Coast
2. Kansas 6-0 Big 12
3. Duke 7-1 ACC
4. Virginia 7-0 ACC
5. Michigan 8-0 Big Ten
6. Nevada 8-0 Mountain West
7. Tennessee 6-1 SEC
8. Auburn 6-1 SEC
9. Kentucky 7-1 SEC
10. Michigan State 6-2 Big Ten
11. Florida State 6-1 ACC
12. Wisconsin 7-1 Big Ten
13. Texas Tech 7-0 Big 12
14. North Carolina 6-2 ACC
15. Virginia Tech 6-1 ACC
16. Kansas State 6-1 Big 12
17. Buffalo 7-0 Mid-American
18. Iowa 6-1 Big Ten
19. Ohio State 7-1 Big Ten
20. Arizona State 7-0 Pac 12
21. Villanova 6-2 Big East
22. Mississippi State 6-1 SEC
23. Maryland 7-1 ACC
24. Nebraska 7-1 Big Ten
25. Furman 8-0 Southern

Texas moves up to No. 17 in AP Top 25; Texas Tech is 20th

The Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Red Raiders have moved into the Associated Press Top 25 in college basketball for the first time this season, according to the poll released Monday.

Texas (5-1) is ranked 17th after knocking off North Carolina by three points last week in Las Vegas. The Longhorns let a 19-point lead slip away the following day in falling to Michigan State.

Texas Tech (6-0) climbed into the No. 20 position following double-digit victories in Kansas City over Southern Cal and Nebraska. The Red Raiders followed on Saturday night by routing Northern Colorado, 93-63, in Lubbock.

The TCU Horned Frogs had been ranked in the first three polls of the new season but fell into the ‘others receiving votes’ category following a 73-64 loss to Lipscomb, (Tenn.) of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

AP Top 25
Week 4
1. Gonzaga 6-0 West Coast
2. Kansas 5-0 Big 12
3. Duke 5-1 ACC
4. Virginia 6-0 ACC
5. Nevada 6-0 Mountain West
6. Tennessee 4-1 ACC
7. Michigan 6-0 Big Ten
8. Auburn 5-1 SEC
9. Michigan State 5-1 Big Ten
10. Kentucky 5-1 SEC
11. North Carolina 6-1 ACC
12. Kansas State 6-0 Big 12
13. Virginia Tech ACC 5-0
14. Iowa 5-0 Big Ten
15. Florida State 5-1 ACC
16. Ohio State 6-0 Big Ten
17. Texas 5-1 Big 12
18. Oregon 4-1 Pac 12
19. Purdue 5-1 Big Ten
20. Texas Tech 6-0 Big 12
21. Buffalo 5-0 Mid-American
22. Wisconsin 5-1 Big Ten
23. Villanova 5-2 Big East
24. Maryland 6-0 Big Ten
25. Mississippi State 4-1 SEC

Forward Rui Hachimura and Gonzaga leaped from third to No. 1 in the rankings after winning the Maui Invitational.

The Bulldogs capped the tournament with an 89-87 victory over previously top-ranked and undefeated Duke. In the new poll, Kansas of the Big 12 remained in second, while Duke tumbled to third.

Just like old times: Undefeated Texas Tech rallies to rout USC

As one of the darlings in the NCAA Tournament last year, the Texas Tech Red Raiders fired up their fan base with an epic run to the Elite Eight.

Given the success, you’d think that Texas Tech at least would have cracked the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll in the first few weeks of the new season.

It hasn’t happened — yet.

But, it might not be long before it does, considering the way the Red Raiders stormed from a 13-point deficit to down the Southern California Trojans 78-63 on Monday night in Kansas City.

Playing at the Sprint Center in the Hall of Fame Classic, the Red Raiders turned up the intensity in the second half, suffocating USC on defense and unleashing the likes of Matt Mooney, Davide Moretti and Tariq Owens on offense to pull away.

One highlight came with 6:20 remaining when Tech guard Jarrett Culver tossed a ball high above the rim, where Owens grabbed it with one hand and tomahawked a vicious dunk. For emphasis, Owens added two more slams late in the game.

In the first half, nobody saw the onslaught coming. It seemed, in fact, as if the Trojans would have a fairly easy night.

Fueled by Bennie Boatwright and Elijah Weaver, USC poured it on, sprinting out on a 10-0 run to take a 30-17 lead with 3:33 remaining. Boatwright and Weaver both hit long threes in the streak.

Individuals

Texas Tech — Tariq Owens 18 points, Jarrett Culver, 18 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, Matt Mooney, 17 points, Davide Moretti, 17 points.

USC — Kevin Porter, Jr., 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, Bennie Boatwright, 14 points, Jonah Mathews, 12 points, three 3-pointers.

Records

Texas Tech: 4-0
Southern Cal: 2-2

Quotable

“What you try to control is what you can — which is attitude and effort … Tonight was a lot of fun. I think we’re going to get in a groove.” — Texas Tech guard Matt Mooney, in an interview with an ESPN broadcast crew.

Florida wins; Texas Tech ousted from College World Series

Senior JJ Schwarz hit the 50th home run of his college career Thursday night as the top-seeded Florida Gators scored a 9-6 victory over Texas Tech, eliminating the Red Raiders from the College World Series.

Freshman Jack Leftwich pitched into the seventh inning to carry Florida to its second straight win in the tournament after losing 6-3 in its opener against Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders of the Big 12 Conference bowed out with a 1-2 record in the CWS after losing on consecutive days to Arkansas and Florida, two powerhouses from the Southeastern Conference.

The Gators advanced to play Arkansas in the bracket finals, which are set to open Friday night. Arkansas needs one win to wrap up a berth in the CWS title round. Florida needs to win two.

A key sequence between Florida and Texas Tech started in the bottom of the seventh, when the Red Raiders had scored their first three runs of the game to pull within 5-3.

Florida reliever Jordan Butler entered the game with the bases loaded and one out, and he delivered by fanning Tech slugger Zach Rheams. Butler then retired Michael Davis on a liner to right field.

The Gators continued to press the issue when they came to the plate in the eighth, scoring three runs for an 8-3 lead. The big blow was an RBI triple by Brady Smith.

Undaunted, the Red Raiders rallied in their half of the inning with three runs on three hits to pull within 8-6. Included in the outburst was an RBI single by sophomore Josh Jung.

Jung, from San Antonio’s MacArthur High School, finished 3 for 5 with 2 RBI.

In the ninth, Florida scored one run to account for the final margin. All-American Jonathan India singled, stole second — for his third steal of the day — and made it all the way around to score on an infield error.

Florida relief ace Michael Byrne retired Texas Tech 1-2-3 in the ninth to end it.

In the early going

As Leftwich shut down the Red Raiders’ offense, the Gators scored one in the fourth and two each in the fifth and sixth to make it 5-0.

Schwarz, who missed the first two rounds of the NCAA playoffs with a hand injury, turned it into a five-run game in the sixth with a two-run shot — his 13th home run of the season.

Texas Tech got it going in the seventh with four hits and an error by Florida shortstop Deacon Liput that allowed the third run of the inning to score.

Notable

Jung finished his sophomore year at Texas Tech with a team-leading .392 batting average. He had 103 hits in 263 at bats. Included in the totals were 12 home runs, six triples and 17 doubles. He also finished with 80 RBI.

Records

Texas Tech 45-20
Florida 49-20

Texas Tech-Florida to meet in elimination game

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will need to beat the No. 1-seeded team in the NCAA baseball tournament for the second time in five days Thursday night to stay alive at the College World Series.

Tech plays Florida at 7 p.m. at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. The winner advances to meet Arkansas on Friday but must beat the Razorbacks twice to reach the best-of-three CWS finals, which start Monday.

The Red Raiders opened the tournament Sunday with a 6-3 victory over the Gators. Since then, the Gators stayed alive by knocking off the Texas Longhorns. Texas Tech lost, falling 7-4 to Arkansas Wednesday afternoo.

On the other side of the bracket, only two teams remain. The Oregon State Beavers and undefeated Mississippi State Bulldogs play Friday with the Bulldogs needing just one win to advance and the Beavers two.

Oregon State remained in contention, knocking off North Carolina 11-6 late Wednesday night.

The Beavers trailed 6-3 after seven innings, but scored four runs in the eighth and four more in the ninth to take control.

Teams already eliminated from the CWS include Washington, Texas and North Carolina.

In Thursday’s game, Texas Tech is expected to start Caleb Kilian (9-2, 3.04) against Florida.

Red Raiders sophomore Josh Jung, who played his high school ball in San Antonio at MacArthur, has produced three hits in nine at bats in the CWS.

Texas Tech’s batting leader was 1 for 4 on Wednesday to give him 100 hits on the season.

It is the first time a Texas Tech player has had a 100-hit season since Josh Bard in 1998, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

For the season, Jung has produced 100 hits in 258 at bats for a .388 average.

Schedule

Thursday

Bracket 2: Texas Tech (1-1) vs. Florida (1-1), 7 p.m.

Friday

Bracket 1: Oregon State (2-1) vs. Mississippi State (2-0), 2 p.m.

Bracket 2: Arkansas (2-0) vs. Florida/Texas Tech, 7 p.m.

Saturday

Bracket 1: If necessary, 2 p.m.

Bracket 2: If necessary, 7 p.m.

Monday

Championship round: Bracket 1 vs. Bracket 2 winners, 6 p.m.

Tuesday

Championship round: Bracket 1 vs. Bracket 2 winners, 6 p.m.

Wednesday

Championship round: Bracket 1 vs. Bracket 2 winners, 6 p.m. (if necessary)

Fletcher-led Arkansas wins again, downs Texas Tech, 7-4

Riding Dominic Fletcher’s four hits and four RBI, the Arkansas Razorbacks built a five-run lead and then withstood a ninth-inning rally, turning back the Texas Tech Red Raiders 7-4 Wednesday to remain undefeated at the College World Series.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Red Raiders scored twice off reliever Matt Cronin on Cody Farhat’s two-run single.

But Cronin retired three straight batters, helping the No. 5-seeded Hogs improve to 2-0 in the tournament. Ninth-seeded Texas Tech fell to 1-1 and dropped into an elimination game against Florida.

The Red Raiders are scheduled to play the top-seeded Gators Thursday night. The winner would advance to meet the Razorbacks Friday in the Bracket 2 finals.

Arkansas is now one victory away from a berth in the CWS title round.

The Razorbacks have put themselves into a commanding position by beating Texas and Texas Tech, two former rivals from the old Southwest Conference that now play in the Big 12.

How it happened

Dominic Fletcher and Carson Shaddy delivered back-to-back RBI singles in the top of the eighth, helping Arkansas open a 7-2 lead on Texas Tech.

Fletcher, who swings a quick bat from the left side, improved his already prolific day at the plate to 4-for-4, with 4 RBI.

In two games at the College World Series, the 5-foot-9 sophomore from Cypress, California, is now 6 for 9 with 6 RBI.

Meanwhile, Arkansas relief pitcher Barrett Loseke has cooled off the Texas Tech offense.

He has struck out five in three scoreless innings.

But, at this point, Arkansas is going deeper into the bullpen, bringing in lefty Matt Cronin with a runner on first in the bottom of the eighth.

Cronin retired the side, allowing the Hogs to take a comfortable five-run lead into the ninth.

Brian Klein’s two-run double in the fifth inning has given new life to the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

The Red Raiders pulled to within 5-2 of the Arkansas Razorbacks when Klein pulled a ball into the right field corner, scoring Michael Davis and Cody Farhat.

Davis reached base when he beat a throw to first base from the catcher, who couldn’t handle a third strike. Later, Farhat walked, setting the table for Klein to hit a drive off Arkansas starter Kayce Murphy.

Barrett Loseke replaced Murphy and retired Josh Jung, Texas Tech’s leading hitter, who grounded out.

In the sixth, Texas Tech continued to build some momentum behind relief pitcher Jose Quezada, who gave up a hit but let his defense do the work on an inning-ending double play.

Dominic Fletcher pounded a solo homer to right to highlight a two-run fourth inning for Arkansas.

Meanwhile, pitcher Kacey Murphy continued to dominate Texas Tech hitters.

As a result, the Razorbacks took a 5-0 lead on the Red Raiders into the fifth Wednesday at the College World Series.

Fletcher and Murphy have emerged as the dominant players so far in a winners’ bracket game between the two former rivals in the old Southwest Conference, both 1-0 in the double-elimination tournament.

Fletcher, a sophomore from California, has produced two hits and three RBI. Murphy is working on a one-hit shutout with five strikeouts.

Arkansas is now representing the Southeastern Conference. Texas Tech is in the Big 12.

After a delayed start to the first game of the day at the College World Series, the Arkansas Razorbacks took a 3-0 lead on Texas Tech after three innings.

Arkansas scored twice in the top of the first inning on a two-run double by Dominic Fletcher.

The play was ruled a double after Texas Tech outfielders Cody Farhat and Gabe Holt collided while trying to make the catch.

The Razorbacks made it 3-0 when senior Jared Gates led off the top of the second with a solo home run.

Arkansas escaped trouble in the bottom half when Razorbacks left fielder Heston Kjerstad made a running catch of Farhat’s drive to the fence.

The Razorbacks later closed the inning when catcher Grant Koch threw out Cameron Warren trying to steal second base.

Arkansas’ pitching started to dominate in the bottom of the third when lefthander Kacey Murphy retired the side by striking out Braxton Fulford, Holt and Brian Klein.

Texas Tech downs No. 1 Florida in College World Series

The Texas Tech Red Raiders broke through in the middle innings with five unanswered runs off Florida ace Brady Singer en route to a 6-3 victory Sunday night at the College World Series.

In the CWS opener for both teams, the Red Raiders scored a run in the fourth inning and two each in the fifth and the sixth to erase an early one-run deficit and open a 5-1 lead on the top-seeded team in the NCAA tournament.

Florida rallied on a two-run homer in the seventh by Nelson Maldonado, drawing the defending national champions to within two.

But Texas Tech added one run for insurance in the ninth when Gabe Holt produced an RBI single, making it 6-3. Holt led Tech at the plate with two hits and three RBI.

Red Raiders pitchers Dylan Dusek, Ryan Shetter and Ty Harpenau combined to hold the Gators to five hits.

Texas Tech will advance in the winners’ bracket to meet the Arkansas Razorbacks Tuesday night. Florida and Texas will play in an elimination game on Tuesday afternoon.

Arkansas beat Texas 11-5 in an earlier game Sunday. The series is being played at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

Quotable

Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock:

“First of all, great atmosphere. Great crowd. City of Omaha does a great job. It’s the best place in the world to play baseball in June. Brady Singer’s a handful. So is (Jordan) Butler and (Michael) Byrne. Those guys are really good. Florida’s got a really good baseball team.

“That’s one game. I’m proud of our guys, the way we went out and competed. We were going to have to do that each inning to come out on the right side of it. And also have some good fortune. I thnk we had that.”

Notable

As Texas Tech plays in Omaha for the third time in five years, Tadlock’s team will experience something new — the winners’ bracket.

In 2014, the Red Raiders were ousted after losing two straight games in the double-elimination format. In 2016, they lost the opener, beat Florida and then lost again.

Beating Bsrady Singer

Singer, the Dick Howser Award Winner as the player of the year in college baseball, was most effective early in the game.

But once the Red Raiders measured him, they started to produce some good swings and made good contact even on balls that turned into outs. It also helped Tech that Florida’s defense faltered at key moments.

In the top of the fourth, San Antonio’s Josh Jung led off with a single to right field. He took second on a balk by Singer, got to third on a passed ball and scored on Grant Little’s sacrifice fly to make it 1-1.

Texas Tech took a 3-1 lead in the fifth courtesy of a few mistakes by Florida’s defense.

Cody Farhat laced a two-out single to center. A throwing error by Florida shortstop Deacon Liput allowed Braxton Fulfort to reach base, while Farhat made it all the way to third.

Holt followed with a two-run single through the right side on a ball that skipped past first baseman JJ Schulz and into the outfield. The ball appeared to be playable, but it was ruled a hit.

In the sixth inning, Zach Rheams belted an RBI double and Michael Davis and RBI single to make it 5-1.

Singer (12-2) pitched 6 and 1/3 innings. He allowed nine hits and five runs, only two of them earned.

The best pitcher of the night may have been Shetter, who was credited with the win after allowing three hits and a run in 4 and 1/3 innings. Shetter (6-0) struck out seven and walked one.

Records

Texas Tech 45-18
Florida 47-20

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Texas Tech advances to the College World Series

Gabe Holt, Michael Davis and Brian Klein belted home runs Monday afternoon, lifting the Texas Tech Red Raiders into the College World Series with a 6-2 victory over Duke.

Five Texas Tech pitchers scattered 10 Duke hits to clinch the best-of-3 Lubbock Super Regional, two games to one.

It is the third CWS appearance for the Red Raiders in the past five seasons.

Texas Tech won the opener Saturday and Duke took the second game on Sunday to set up the decisive game at Rip Griffin Park.

Duke tied the game 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning on a Jimmy Herron infield single, but Texas Tech retaliated immediately.

Zach Rheams led off the bottom half of the inning with a ground rule double and Davis followed with a two-run homer, making it 3-1.

After Duke scored once on a couple of triples to pull within a run in the sixth inning, Texas Tech answered in the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot by Klein.

The Red Raiders picked up two insurance runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Holt and Josh Jung.

Jung, a Texas Tech sophomore from MacArthur, had four of his teams’s 13 hits to raise his batting average to .390 leading into the CWS.

It will be his first trip to Omaha as a player, though he says he has attended a few of them as a fan.

Quotable

Josh Jung, talking to ESPN before the final game of the Super Regional, about what it would mean for him to make it to the CWS:

“To me, it’s been a lifelong goal, since I was eight-years old.”

Records

Duke 45-18
Texas Tech 44-18