The Red Raiders had a chance to get within a half-game of Big 12 leader Kansas this week after the Jayhawks dropped a game in Austin on Monday. Unfortunately, Texas Tech posted their worst half of basketball all season in the second half against OU, getting outscored by 20 on their way to losing by 15 to the Sooners. The team carried this funk into the early going of Saturday’s home matchup against TCU, trailing 35-22 with just over five minutes to go in the opening half. Thankfully for the Red Raiders, they completely flipped the script finishing the game on a 60-34 run. Victory aside, the team lost star guard Kevin McCullar to an ankle injury midway through the contest. While x-rays were negative, his status will be up in the air going into this week.
Fortunately for the Red Raiders, Terrence Shannon, who has dealt with his share of injuries this year, was able to score 10+ in consecutive games for the first time since mid-December. In his first five games this year, Shannon was averaging 16.8 ppg. Before this past week’s games, he was averaging just 6.7 since then. It seems as if Shannon is finally getting over the nagging back injury that was slowing his production during that stretch. In Norman he scored 11 points on six shots, followed by a game-high 20 points on just nine shots against TCU. Not only did he get back to his old scoring ways, but he was also very efficient in doing so, shooting 67% from the field and 50% from the three-point line. With the uncertainty of McCullar’s health moving forward, Shannon could provide the team with a lot of stability if he’s able to replicate his recent scoring efficiency.
Next, the Red Raiders face their last two ranked opponents in the regular season with rematches of two teams Tech has already beaten this year, Baylor and Texas. Wednesday Baylor will travel to Lubbock and test the team’s 15–0 home record before Texas Tech travels to Austin on Saturday for a rematch against the Longhorns. A sweep against both teams would help tremendously in not only Big 12 tiebreakers but also NCAA tournament seeding. This week’s pair of matchups could end up determining whether Tech is a 2-4 seed in March.