Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Ths one is easy, your guy Davide Moretti was fantastic, hitting 6 of 9 from the field, 3 of 6 from the three-point line, 6 of 7 free throws, 2 assists, 1 steal, and just 1 turnover. Huge game from your favorite Italian.
Defender of the Game: I’ll go with Norense Odiase here, he led the team is 7 rebounds and also had a block. We could also just add in Tariq Owens here as he’s always blocking shots (3 on the night).
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Culver with 15 points on 5 of 12, but only 1 of 4 from the charity stripe, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 4 turnovers.
- 21 turnovers. What the hell? I mean, I’m good with 10 or 12 or something like that, but 21? And it was generally just careless turnovers. Terrible passes and sloppy ball-handling were generally the culprits. Arkansas does force turnovers, but c’mon. Reduce the turnovers by 8 or so and Texas Tech probably wins this game running away. The worst offenders were Mooney (5), Culver (4), and Odiase (4). To be fair, the team had 15 of those turnovers in the first half, Culver had all of his in the first half and none in the second. Mooney had just 1 in the second half as did Odiase.
- Arkansas couldn’t hit anything outside, but they weren’t exactly a good-shooting team, to begin with. The Razorbacks made only 3 of 10 in the first half and 1 of 9 in the second half, they just kept shooting and not making them in the second half. What killed Texas Tech, was the points inside. Arkansas dominated inside, 28 points in the paint for the game.
- Texas Tech, on the other hand, was very efficient from beyond the arc, making 5 of 10 in the first half and 5 of 9 in the second half, so when the Red Raiders weren’t turning the ball over, they were really efficient offensively.
- There were 19 free throws, but Arkansas was previously terrible at hacking opponents so I don’t think the 19 is anything to write home about, but it is better than 11 free throws shot against Kansas State. It is still disappointing that Culver goes 1 for 4 from the line, for being such a good shooter, he’s a really inconsistent free throw shooter.
- For me, it was good to see Deshawn Corprew get some quality minutes. His ability to contribute and get minutes is a big deal for me. He’s an efficient offensive player who generally doesn’t turn the ball over. Texas Tech needs as few low-turnover players on the court whenever they can.
- Seriously, the offense was so much better offensively in the second half. The lack of turnovers and some offense with some intention was great. Not perfect, but really good and something I can live with for sure. Now, just play like that for 40 minutes.
- It was good to see the ancillary pieces contribute in small ways. Owens had a weird night, too many fouls, so he only played 21 minutes, but Odiase, Francis, Edwards, and Corprew were all good, not great. They all contributed in small parts, which is necessary for this team to win.
- I don’t even know why Avery Benson was in the game for 1 minute (I think it is because Benson is from Arkansas), but he was, and he dove head-long to knock the ball off of an Arkansas player, and that seemed to give this team some serious life. Texas Tech would have a decent lead but would allow Arkansas to come roaring back. The defensive stand at the end of the game between Mooney and Culver was special. That doesn’t show up in the box score other than a turnover for kicking the ball for Arkansas, but that was some elite pressure without fouling.
- These uniforms are the best uniforms.
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) January 26, 2019
- Head coach Chris Beard:
“We have a lot of respect for Arkansas’ program, certainly in my time in that state I saw most of those players play in high school and on the grassroots circuits. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Coach. I’m happy for our players. I think we beat a really good team and a team that is in a fight for the NCAA tournament. I want to thank the crowd, we are starting to develop a home court advantage here, very appreciative in the season ticket holders for not only buying the tickets but coming to the games, certainly when our students show up I think we have one of the best home courts in college basketball. On a night where we didn’t play our I best, I think you have to give Arkansas a lot of credit, but I do think our guys showed a lot of grit to come back after being down at half time and finding a way to win, when it really wasn’t our best night.”
- Beard on Moretti:
“We’ve talked about this before, last year played a nice role as a young player in this league, he played his best basketball in March, persevered through times in the middle of season where the game was just hard for him, had a great summer and offseason he is trying to find that next level. To win in this league, the SEC is no different, to win a BCS game you have to have three of four people show up and play great and Moro is starting to find some consistency where he is one of those guys that we are relying on. Tonight the most impressive thing is against an Arkansas, Coach Anderson, a pressure defensive game, he only has one turnover and plays a lot of minutes. When he shoots, I think every shot is going to go in, he is one of the best shooters I have ever coached. I’m more impressed with the defense and the ball handling.”
- Beard on the end-of-game moments:
“I didn’t feel great, I was scared to death over there because you have so much respect for the opponent. I thought Matt verbalized it well, you got a three-point lead, it’s all about time and score so there’s around 20 something seconds left in the game so probably too early to foul, even though they have some not so great free throw shooters. I thought they would go inside to Gafford and we had to make a decision whether or not we were going to double team him, so some strategy. Give the players all the credit I thought Matt made a great play and then Culver made the play that Matt gave him the opportunity to make, so its team defense at its best. “
- TCU is on Monday at 8:00 p.m. This is a very good TCU team that is statistically better than Texas Tech.