Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Davide Moretti was great and you won’t see this stat line very often, only 4 shots (3 made), but he had 20 points, including 12 of 12 from the free throw line and 2-2 from behind the three-point line. Add in 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 turnovers in 38 minutes and that’s a pretty good line.
Defender of the Game: I’ll go with Tariq Owens. He clearly affected shots and had 2 blocks to go along with 16 points on 7 of 10 from the field, 6 rebounds (4 offensive), 1 steal, and 1 turnover.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Jarrett Culver didn’t have a great shooting night, only 7 of 22, but he contributed 10 boards, a double-double, with an assist, 2 steals, and just 2 turnovers in 38 minutes.
- I’m honestly surprised that Texas Tech won this game. Offensively, this team didn’t shoot the ball well at all, making only 40% of their shots and only 20% of their three-point buckets. Against Kansas, Texas Tech made 61% of their field goals and 62% of their three-point buckets and simply couldn’t miss. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State makes 53% of their three-point shots and they shot a ton of them, 17 of 32. As a team, the Cowboys only shot 64 shots total, so half of their shots were three-point shots and they made them in spades. In fact, if you look at eFG%, Oklahoma State had the advantage (eFG% essentially adds in the effect of the three-point shots) as the Cowboys shot 54% and Texas Tech shot 44%. These are the kind of games that most teams end up losing because the other team is hitting everything from the outside.
- One of Texas Tech’s resume pride points is that they haven’t lost any games that they shouldn’t have lost. For example, Kansas has a 1 point loss to West Virginia (11-17), Kansas State has a loss to Texas A&M (12-15). I think I’ve read, and I’ll probably get this stat incorrect, but Texas Tech hasn’t lost to any non-top 40 teams. One of the knocks that college basketball writer Seth Davis has said about Texas Tech is that they haven’t beaten any ranked opponents and other than Kansas and that’s only partly true. Oklahoma was 23rd in the nation when Texas Tech beat them at home, but the Sooners have faded and they aren’t the 23rd best team in the nation.
- The best thing that happened to the Texas Tech offense was that this was another low turnover game, only 7 on the night. So despite not making a ton of shots, they didn’t have any wasted opportunities. On the defensive end of things, one of the typical byproducts of a team that shoots a lot of three-point shots are offensive boards for the team that shoots them and OSU only had 6 offensive boards and Texas Tech had 12 on their end. So Texas Tech not only created additional offensive opportunities they limited Oklahoma State’s. These two things probably saved Texas Tech’s rear.
- The end of regulation was a bit messy. Chris Beard said that he wanted to foul Waters before he made the game-tying three-pointer. I’d gripe about this, but Beard and these players usually execute these things pretty well and they didn’t this time. That’s one thing that I’ve always been impressed with is the overall execution of this team and 9 out of 10 times, they get done what needs to be done.
- In overtime, Texas Tech was simply better, but Oklahoma State may have run out of gas. Texas Tech took 6 of 9 shots at the rim in overtime and when we talk about execution that’s it. Oklahoma State took no shots at the rim and those three-point shots are so far away. That shooting for Oklahoma State eventually just ran out of gas.
- Overall, Texas Tech didn’t get great games from Jarrett Culver, he fell a bit back into a shooting slump, only making 7 of 22 from the field and 1 of 5 from the three-point line. And some of the other players that typically lift the offense didn’t have good nights, Matt Mooney was only 3 of 11 including 0-4 from the three-point line, Brandone Francis was only 1 of 5 including 0-2 from beyond the arc, and Kyler Edwards was 0-4 with all 4 of his shots coming behind the three-point line.
- One other offensive trait that really helped is that Texas Tech made a ton of free throws, led by Moretti. Overall, the team made 25 of 32 free throws, good for 78%. Typically, Texas Tech makes only 72% of their free throws, so they were better than what’s been average for them. I will say that Mooney did have 6 assists and 0 turnovers for the game. That’s some really good production. Mooney also showed up late in a big way.
- I’d also like to recognize that Norense Odiase had a good line as well, grabbing 8 rebounds and going 4-4 from the field.
- Head coach Chris Beard:
On Davide Moretti:
“Moro is one of our best players. He’s had an individual season worthy of All-Big 12 recognition, in my opinion. He’s been consistent, and he’s had a great offseason to prepare physically and mentally for this year. He’s somebody that I have a lot of trust in, but probably more impressive, is he’s our starting point guard. He’s led us back to where we’re relevant in college basketball in March. He’s a guy who refused to believe that we were going to be 9th or 10th place in the Big 12.”
On blocking out outside voices:
“There’s a lot of outside voices, especially this time of year, on teams that maybe haven’t had the best of seasons, and good teams stay focused. This is exactly what we saw with Oklahoma State tonight. I saw it all week in preparation, zero quit. On the flip side, you have a team like ours that’s had some success this year. You’re only as good as your last game, your last practice, your last rep, and we just have to continue being who we are. I’ve always thought you can learn from a victory just like you can from a defeat, and that’s what we’ll try to do in the next 24 hours.”
- No time to wait, Texas Tech travels to Ft. Worth to take on TCU Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Texas Tech then hosts Texas on Monday and then travels to Ames next Saturday to end the Big 12 conference play.