Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: I loved the play of Matt Mooney and when he’s more aggressive offensively, the team just plays better. There were a handful of players who played really well so you could just pick some names out of a hat. Mooney had 17 points, 5 boards, 4 assists, 1 turnover, and 4 steals. That 4 steals is a huge deal.
Defender of the Game: You could go with Mooney here as well, but Jarrett Culver was also really active defensively, had 3 steals and 9 defensive boards all by himself to lead the team.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Culver almost had a double-double, 18 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. The one negative was the fact that he had 6 turnovers.
- This is going to be abbreviated, but it was a tale of two halves. Texas Tech shot 27% in the first half, 11% from the three-point line, and then in the second half, they got a real tail-chewing, and shot 80% from the field plus 83% from the three-point line.
- The first half lineup played heavy minutes for Norense Odiase and I thin that was just a bad match-up for Norense, as USC played 4 guards/wings and 1 big and there really wasn’t a spot for him, so Beard rotated more of Francis and Corprew in the second half and that helped fuel the furious comeback.
- I don’t know that there was any second half magic, but the team just did a better job of making shots and as a team, they were much more aggressive at drawing fouls. The team shot 24 free throw attempts in the second half alone (compared to 6 in the first half) and only 6 three-point shots (compared to 9 in the first half). I’m guessing that part of Beard’s halftime speech was to get to the line because USC was biting on just about every shot fake, they were incredibly undisciplined defensively.
- USC had the best post player coming into the game, averaging a double-double, but Texas Tech scored 36 in the paint, compared to just 20 for USC. And the Red Raiders also took advantage of the 17 Trojan turnovers and scored 19 points off of those turnovers whereas Texas Tech had just 11 turnovers for the game, 7 of those were in the first half. So there were only 4 bad possessions in the second half and ball security combined with making shots is a pretty terrific thing.
- Tariq Owens had his best game, scoring 18 points on 7 of 10 from the floor with 4 rebounds and 1 block shot. He was very active defensively and he also was the recipient of some terrific passes by Culver.
- Davide Moretti looked much better this game, was very efficient, making 5 of 9 from the field including 2 of 3 with 3 boards, 2 assists and 2 turnovers.
- The bench was pretty quiet for Texas Tech. Deshawn Corprew, Brandone Francis and Kyler Edwards combined for 4 points total (all by Corprew) and just 6 boards (3 by Francis). They’ll need to be better against Nebraska on a back-to-back night.