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

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.