Texas Tech Red Raiders Earn Hard-Fought Win Over Iowa State
It was a jubilant home locker room Wednesday night at the United Spirit Arena as the Texas Tech Red Raider Basketball team doubled their conference win total from last season. Whoops and hollers could be heard after the Red Raiders beat Iowa State 56-51. With the win, Tech picked up their second conference win of the season to improve their record to (9-8, 2-4).
Texas Tech interim head coach Chris Walker (pictured, above) said he was happy for his team, "What an awesome feeling for my guys," Walker said. "I'm very happy for the fellas. This season may be filled with peaks and valleys just because of our youth and inexperience. What I love about these guys, and I'd love to say it publicly so they can hear it, is that every single day they come out with a great attitude."
Good first half shooting (42.9% from the field), a 9-0 run and strong inside play gave the Red Raiders a 28-25 lead at halftime.
Iowa State then went on a 6-0 run in the first 3 minutes of the second half. By the time the first media timeout hit, the Cyclones were up 33-31.
Coach Walker said he made the decision to turn Josh Gray loose, offensively, and it paid off in the second half. Gray scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and he was the leading scorer for the Red Raiders. "We've got to let (Gray) score," Walker said. "There may be some times he makes some plays that make me want to pull the rest of my hair out, but by the same token he can make some plays that other guys on the other team can't."
One of the turning points in the game was three Josh Gray free throws. He was fouled on a 3-pointer and Gray hit all of his shots to tie the game at 39 with 8:57 left.
Jordan Tolbert had another productive game as he scored 13, grabbed 8 rebounds and went 5/5 from the free throw line.
However, the Red Raiders fight against Iowa State wasn't finished. With 5:35 left in the game, Iowa State took a 44-43 lead off a Korie Lucious 3-pointer. The 'finishing ability' in the Red Raiders showed as Tech took back the lead immediately on the following possession. Daylen Robinson made his only shot of the game a 3-pointer with gave the Red Raiders a 46-44 lead.
Iowa State took the lead for one more time with another Korie Lucious 3-pointer. That made the score 47-46 with 4:02 left. Texas Tech responded again, with a Jordan Tolbert lay-up, going up 48-47. From that point forward, Tech held on to their lead for the rest of the game.
Gray made Tech's next 6 points as Iowa State was only able to counter with two free thrown and a jumper from Will Clyburn. Tolbert iced the game for the Red Raiders with two free throws at the 10-second mark.
Clyburn was Iowa State's best player Wednesday night. He had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Texas Tech's next game is Saturday at Texas. The game tips off at 7 o'clock and will be televised on the Longhorn Network.