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.


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.


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


“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.