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Post Game Report: Texas Tech Vs Houston

The Red Raiders got in an early hole that they couldn’t dig themselves out of

Photo Credit: A. Press Photo

For the first time this season, Texas Tech looked like a young team breaking in some new players. Houston deserves credit for playing some tough defense, but the first few minutes of this game featured uncharacteristically sloppy turnovers as Tech came out of the locker room discombobulated. This allowed UH to jump out to a 27-9 lead, and against a team as talented as the Cougars, this ultimately proved insurmountable.

The Tech players would eventually settle in and start playing better basketball, and this along with the patented Chris Beard halftime adjustments allowed the Red Raiders to close the deficit to 7, but that was as close as they would get. Micah Peavy was Tech’s best player on the floor, but he fouled out with 3:31 remaining. Nimari Burnett continues to look very much like a Freshman, and Tech didn’t get much production out of its returning talent, as Kyler Edwards had an off night while Terrence Shannon, Jr. missed a few minutes due to injury and didn’t look quite 100% save one spectacular dunk. Mac McClung led the team in scoring, but much of that came late from the free-throw line. The charity stripe wasn’t friendly to the Red Raiders, either, as the team shot an abysmal 54.2% from the line.

UH’s 11-point margin of victory is exactly how many free throws Tech missed, and this paired with 18 turnovers led to the Tech loss. The Red Raiders were also slightly outrebounded on both ends. Depending on perspective, UH’s strategy of being in a rebounding position or flopping to try and draw foul calls when they weren’t is either masterful or questionable, but undeniably effective. As was an extremely brief “injury” that the officials deemed worth stopping a fast break advantage for. The game also got a bit chippy at times, with UH drawing a late technical foul and arguably getting away with a few more plays that easily could have been, such as Micah Peavy being leg locked/stepped on. Still, UH outphysicaled Tech overall, and it should serve as good preparation for games against teams like Baylor and West Virginia who typically play a similar style of basketball.

The Tech fanbase need not press the panic button yet. Early growing pains were to be expected, Tech will rarely shoot as poorly from the line or commit as many sloppy turnovers as they did against UH, and Kevin McCullar will soon return to provide some more consistency. Moreover, the Cougars have a quality team who will likely also be playing basketball well into March. The light will come on for Burnett at some point, Peavy is already in midseason form, and it isn’t difficult to see the talent/depth beginning to show some flashes of coming greatness. It is entirely possible that this loss helps this Tech team more than hurting it in the long run, as it doesn’t really affect the goals of a Big XII title/deep tournament run. While the Red Raiders didn’t pass this early test, there will likely be significant growth and lots of wins in the upcoming schedule leading up to another big game against KU to open conference play.

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