Mark Adams and the Red Raiders were finally able to snap their eight-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon after defeating LSU 76-68 in Baton Rouge despite being without two of their most prominent offensive forces. Texas Tech improves to 11-10 overall with the win, saving them from returning to conference action with a record under 0.500.
With both Pop Isaacs and Fardaws Aimaq out with injuries, many initially worried that the offense would suffer in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency, but the result from Saturday proved quite the opposite. Other members of the team stepped up in their absence and were able to create an offensive rhythm when the team needed it most. While the performance was far from perfect, the relentless fight displayed by the Red Raiders is what ultimately led to attaining this much-needed win for the program.
Kevin Obanor led the team in scoring with 22 points on 53% shooting, and claimed Texas Tech’s first eight points to start the game. Kerwin Walton was not far behind with 17 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc. Walton truly showed out in his first program start, shooting an impressive 85.7% on the afternoon, missing only one shot in his 21 minutes of play. To say Kerwin was one of the most impactful players of the game would be a gross understatement. Three of Walton’s five made threes came in the second half when Texas Tech was struggling to find a rhythm offensively. He hit back-to-back threes after the team found themselves trailing by one as a result of a five-minute-long scoring drought.
De’Vion Harmon was the final Red Raider in double digits, with 14 points and adding 8 assists in 34 minutes. True freshman Elijah Fisher also saw some quality playing time in Saturday’s win over LSU, finishing with 5 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block in his 22 minutes of action.
While Texas Tech led for the majority of the game, LSU kept the score close from start to finish, forcing the Red Raiders to fight for every bucket all the way until the final buzzer. Some huge defensive stops late in the second half really opened the door for Texas Tech to widen the margin of their lead, an opportunity they had struggled to take advantage of in recent games. Seeing glimpses of that Hallmark Mark Adams defense in clutch time was so refreshing and something I’m sure Red Raider Nation would like to see more of as conference play continues next week.
Despite this win being against a struggling LSU team, for Texas Tech to pull this one out in an environment that LSU was previously 9-3 at is something that these guys should be proud of. With their first Quad 2 win of the season under their belt, I hope that the Red Raiders have gained some confidence and bring that same fire and intensity back to Lubbock where they will resume conference play against Iowa State on Monday night. Maybe this is purely blind optimism speaking, but dare I say … THE. RUN. STARTS. NOW.