Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: You could probably go with either Tariq Owens or Jarrett Culver, I’ll go with Owens for today, finishing with 14 points on 7 of 13 from the floor, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal with only 1 foul for the game.
Defender of the Game: I don’t know how you choose “a” defender of a game when the opposing team shot 24.5% from the floor and when the starters really played, which was most of the first half, the Demons shot 14.81%. This game was ridiculous.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: This is where Culver comes in, scoring 15 points on 5 of 6 from the floor and an all-important 4 of 5 from the line, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal and a very uncharacteristic 3 turnovers. Overall, a very efficient game for Culver.
- This was not a fun game to watch, at least it wasn’t for me. Texas Tech was clearly the better team from the outset of the game and I don’t know that I learned a darn thing about the team given how dominant they were and how terrible NSU was. I think scheduling a team like NSU is fine, but with Abilene Christian coming up on Saturday and then Duke a week from today, you’d maybe like to have a better test, but this was just terrible. I’d also say that a team that wants fans to come out to games, match-ups against Northwestern State isn’t usually going to move the needle. I fell asleep in my chair watching the second half for a few minutes, but there was just nothing that I was getting out of the game.
- The first half was great. Texas Tech held NSU to the 15% from the floor and 10% from the three-point line while making 55% of their own shots, 44% from the three-point line and 81% from the free throw line. That’s darn near perfection. A couple of deep bench players got some burn at the end of the first half, but this was largely the starters and they largely dominated the game in a way that was embarrassing. It was 53-10 at halftime. That’s ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.
- The second half was a bit of a different matter. NSU ended up out-scoring Texas Tech 34-26 in the second half, but Texas Tech also played deep bench players, including most of the walk-ons with 7 minutes remaining. It wasn’t pretty and if you wanted to complain about deep bench players not maintaining that lead, I suppose that’s fine that they’re held to the same standard as the starters, but I don’t think that’s fair.
- I may be leading the charge for the Deshawn Corprew fan club. I love watching him play, he’s so smooth and so danged athletic on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, he’s a joy to watch. He’d be great in the starting lineup or getting 25+ minutes a game and he’d probably average double-figures. Corprew finished with 11 points on 4 of 6 from the floor including 3 of 5 from the three-point line, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 turnover in just 15 minutes of time.
- Part of the reason why Texas Tech jumped out to an early lead was that Matt Mooney nailed 3 early three-point shots and I’d love to see him do more of this, but he defers and that’s fine, but he’s a very good shooter and shooters need to shoot. He was hot, he could have probably kept shooting and scored more than the 11 points that he did. Mooney finished with 4 boards, 2 assists, a block, 2 steals and just 1 turnover. That’s a big improvement from the last game where Mooney was a bit turnover prone.
- Another turnaround game came from Davide Moretti, who didn’t necessarily score a ton, only 7 point on 3 of 7, but he did have 6 assists to just 2 turnovers. Again, that’s a positive sign for Moretti who has struggled a bit with turnovers. Beard lets him know every time he turns the ball over that that ain’t cool.
- A quiet but nice game from Norense Odiase, who had an opposing player who was similarly situated as him, big guy, and so Texas Tech needed a presence down low. Odiase finished with 4 points making both of his shots, and had 7 boards, 3 offensive, 2 blocks and a turnover for the game. A nice effort.
- I really like how Brandone Francis has become a facilitator and he’s essentially a point forward at this point of his career. His shot is struggling a bit, only 1 of 4 from the field, but he’s going to be vital from a facilitator stand-point if Moretti struggles in the Big 12 conference. He’ll essentially be that point guard and I think he can do it. He only had 2 assists last night, but he’s got control and the confidence to pull it off.
- Head coach Chris Beard:
“Our theme this year is consistency, we are trying to get consistent and tonight is a great example of how we are not quite there yet. I thought the first half we played the game about as well as you can play basketball. You have to give Northwestern State credit, in the second half you could not even tell what the score was based on how hard they were playing. The coach was coaching until the end, and they gave us all we could handle in the second half and I think that is a great reflection of their character and their team and what they are about. I understand that it is hard to play with these big leads. You want to value patience, but you still want to attack. I know these games are hard but I think these players would be the first to tell you that there are a lot of things we have to do better. We have to be more disciplined when we have big leads, just like we are going to have to be very disciplined when we are on the other end of these things. It is not a matter of “if”, we are going to have to show the character and the courage to make a comeback. I think consistency and discipline is what we have to find and embrace. Culver has to lead us in a lot of ways. The second half we just did not have much discipline and we were not consistent.”