Texas Tech blitzes Incarnate Word in 2nd half of 87-37 win
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech coach Chris Beard wasn’t too pleased with the first half in the opener of the encore to the school’s first Elite Eight season.
There wasn’t much to complain about after halftime.
Jarrett Culver scored 16 points, Matt Mooney had 12 points and six assists and the Red Raiders outscored Incarnate Word by 41 points in the second half of an 87-37 victory Tuesday night.
“We had some hard words for the guys at halftime,” Beard said. “But you got to give the players credit. It starts with those four seniors. They knew what was coming. They knew we didn’t play our best half the first half. So you’ve got to have guys that want to be coached.”
The Red Raiders outscored the Cardinals 48-7 in the second half, holding Incarnate Word to 10 percent shooting (3 of 30) after halftime.
Texas Tech has work to do trying to replace steady senior leader Keenan Evans and Zhaire Smith, who turned pro as a freshman, after helping the Red Raiders reach the regional finals before losing to national champion Villanova.
The opener showed they’ll probably lean on depth, much like last season. Brandone Francis, one of coach Chris Beard’s key reserves during a 27-win season, had 13 points, five rebounds and three steals. Freshman Kyle Edwards debuted with 10 points.
Antoine Smith scored 16 points for Incarnate Word, with two of his team’s seven second-half points. Morgan Taylor and Jordan Caruso were the only other Cardinals with baskets after halftime. Incarnate Word shot 27 percent for the game and had 29 turnovers.
The Cardinals shot 53 percent to stay close before halftime.
“We made some shots. Then we couldn’t make any shots,” coach Carson Cunningham said. “That was a little frustrating. You’ve got to give Texas Tech credit. They kept coming. In the second half, we went quite dry.”
Culver, a sophomore from Lubbock expected to step into a leading role without Evans and Smith, was 6 of 10 from the field — matching the team’s 60 percent shooting for the game — and had four assists. He was 2 of 4 from 3-point range.
Incarnate Word: The Cardinals can be proud of the first 16 minutes. Charles Brown hit a jumper to get them within 28-24 with four minutes left in the first half before the Red Raiders scored the next eight points.
Texas Tech: While the 39-30 halftime score didn’t please Beard, the 50-point margin soothed things a bit. And the Red Raiders never really were in danger after scoring the game’s first nine points. They had a pair of 15-0 runs after halftime.
Incarnate Word: Home opener in San Antonio against St. Francis-Illinois on Friday.
Texas Tech: Mississippi Valley State at home Friday.