Culver 21 points, Odiase 13 boards in Texas Tech’s 59-40 win
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech responded well when moderately tested for the first time. The Red Raiders still haven’t trailed this season.
Jarrett Culver scored 21 points, Norense Odiase grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds and the Red Raiders shrugged off Southeastern Louisiana for a 59-40 victory Tuesday night to improve to 3-0.
Moses Greenwood scored 13 points and freshman sharpshooter Parker Edwards added 11 points off the bench for Southeastern (1-3), which had a miserable shooting night. The Lions shot 26 percent (12 of 46) overall and 17 percent (5 of 29) from 3-point territory.
Those shooting woes kept Southeastern from ever throwing too much of a scare into Tech, which finished with a 38-25 rebounding advantage.
“It’s nice to see our defense carrying us on a night when we really needed it,” Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said. “You’ve got to give our guys credit. On a night when the shots weren’t going down, we found a way to beat a good team.”
Tech (3-0) bolted to an 18-3 lead in the first 9 ½ minutes. Junior college transfer Deshawn Corprew provided six points in a row, including a 3-pointer in transition.
Edwards buried a 3-pointer and swished three free throws when he was fouled on another deep jumper to bookend a 9-1 burst late in the first half that pulled the Lions within 26-17.
But Southeastern turned the ball over on its three final possessions of the half, and Culver scored six points in the final 1:58 before halftime to give the Red Raiders a 32-19 lead.
Culver, a major contributor on Tech’s first Elite Eight team last year, had 14 of his points in the first half.
“Outstanding player, big-time player,” Lions coach Jay Ladner said. “Really his position, we knew that was a bad, bad matchup for us. His play at the end of the first half obviously broke the game open.”
Greenwood hit a 3 in the opening minute of the second half to get the Lions within 32-22, but they never got closer.
Southeastern Louisiana: The Lions showed a much more competitive verve against a major conference opponent after losses by 31 points at LSU and 52 at Nebraska. As was the case in the first three games, shooting from outside was a major issue and something Southeastern will have to remedy — although the Lions aren’t likely to face the same level of defense in the Southland Conference they have so far. They missed 11 of their first 12 shots.
Texas Tech: In its toughest test in the first three games, the Red Raiders showed the kind of grit that typified their 2017-18 season. The victory wasn’t a thing of beauty by any means, but Culver showed a knack for taking a game over when needed and that will be important down the road.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: Both teams were a bit shaky with the ball. The Lions committed 15 turnovers and Tech had 12. But the Red Raiders were much more opportunistic with an 18-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
TIP-INS: Culver (8 for 12), Odiase (3 for 3) and Coprew (2 for 2) combined to hit 13 of 17 field goals. The rest of Tech’s roster was 9 of 29. . Neither team finished with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. The Lions had 15 turnovers and seven assists, while the Raiders had 12 of each.
Southeastern Louisiana: The Lions head back home after a grinding four games, three on the road, over an eight-day stretch. They host Stetson on Saturday.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders head to Kansas City, Mo., and will play Southern California on Monday in the Hall of Fame Classic.