Moretti, No. 14 Texas Tech top Arkansas 67-64
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Jarrett Culver got some help on offense, and then made a big defensive play for No. 14 Texas Tech.
Davide Moretti scored a career-high 21 points , including two game-sealing free throws after Culver helped create a turnover, and the Red Raiders beat Arkansas 67-64 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday night.
“You have to have three or four people show up and play great. (Moretti) is starting to be one of those guys we can rely on,” Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said.
Culver scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half for Texas Tech (16-4), which had lost three in a row.
The Red Raiders had a double-digit lead trimmed to two with a minute left. They didn’t make another field goal after Norense Odiase’s dunk made it 60-48 with 7:41 left.
But they held on.
“We found a way to win when it really wasn’t our best night,” Beard said.
The Razorbacks (11-8) trailed 65-62 when they took a timeout with 26 seconds left. After struggling to find a shot, Arkansas committed a turnover with eight seconds remaining when Culver knocked the ball away and a Razorback player kicked it.
“We didn’t execute, that’s all,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “We were trying to get a quick score, and then we didn’t even get off a shot, so that’s disappointing.”
Moretti then converted two foul shots before Jalen Harris made a layup for Arkansas as time expired.
Daniel Gafford led the Razorbacks with 14 points after missing most of the first half in foul trouble. Harris and Mason Jones had 11 points apiece.
Matt Mooney scored 12 points for the Red Raiders, who shot 51 percent (22 of 43) from the field, including 10 for 19 from 3-point range. They made eight of their first 11 shots after halftime and were 5 of 9 on 3-pointers in the second half.
Harris beat the halftime buzzer with a long running 3-pointer that lifted the Razorbacks to a 33-30 lead at the break. Culver tied it up right after halftime with one of his four 3s .
Texas Tech went ahead to stay when Mooney’s 3 made it 42-40 with 16:44 left, starting a 13-2 run.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks whiffed on a chance to build momentum after topping Missouri three days earlier. They were hurt by a 4-for-19 performance from 3-point range.
Texas Tech: Ten days of struggling with three Big 12 losses in a row has been put to rest. Maybe as big as anything else, the Raiders found some offensive alternatives to Culver for the first time in a while. After 15 turnovers before halftime, they had only six in the second half.
Arkansas will try to win consecutive SEC games for the first time this season at home against Georgia on Tuesday night.
Texas Tech is home Monday night against TCU before going to No. 9 Kansas next Saturday.