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Men’s basketball remains undefeated ahead of away stretch

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Kevin Obanor looks for a pass

Kevin Obanor pivots with the basketball looking for a pass against Prairie View A&M University at the United Supermarkets Arena on Nov. 15, 2021.

The Texas Tech men’s basketball improved to 6-0 with an 89-57 victory over Lamar on Saturday, remaining undefeated under new head coach Mark Adams. The Red Raiders will now prepare for two consecutive away games.

Tech will first face Providence in Rhode Island on Wednesday, Dec. 1. The team will then face Tennessee for the Big 12/SEC Challenge at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

Junior guard Kevin McCullar Jr. missed his second game in a row as he was sidelined for the contest against Lamar due to illness, according to Tech Athletics. 

With McCullar out, Wilson made his second-straight start after he came off the bench for one game in Shannon’s return, the only game with McCullar and Shannon. Adams rolled out the following lineup for the second game in a row. 

G - Mylik Wilson, junior, transfer from Louisiana 

G - Terrence Shannon Jr., junior

G - Davion Warren, super-senior, transfer from Hampton

F - Kevin Obanor, senior, transfer from Oral Roberts

F - Bryson Williams, Super-Senior, transfer from UTEP

The Red Raiders started out strong against Lamar, jumping out to a 14-0 lead by the first media timeout at just under 16 minutes left in the first half. Shannon made the first three, but Obanor went on an early run, making 9 of the next 11 points with a three, a converted and-one three, and a second-chance layup. 

Shannon and Obanor maintained their momentum throughout the game. Both started the game 3-for-4 from behind the arc and combined for 25 of Tech’s first 34 points. 

After finishing with two points in the Red Raiders’ last game against Omaha, Obanor ended the game with a season-high 20 points after shooting 6-10 from the field and 3-6 from behind the arc. Obanor also hauled in seven rebounds in 21 minutes.

Shannon finished the game with 15 points. He also recorded two rebounds, two assists, a steal and a turnover in 30 minutes of playing time, the most of any Red Raider. Williams finished second on the team in scoring with 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 26 minutes. 

The only other Red Raider to score a bucket in Tech’s early shutout run was Mylik Wilson, who finished the game with a team-high four assists to go along with five points and three rebounds. Wilson led the team in two defensive statistics as well, his two steals and three blocks more than any of his teammates.

In his first defensive possession early in the first half, sophomore guard Chibuzo Agbo let Lamar’s Jefferson drive by for a layup attempt that resulted in a foul on Obanor and Lamar's first points of the game. 

Lamar’s CJ Roberts scored the first field goal of the game on the next possession with a fast-break layup. 

Roberts, a four-star prospect coming out of high school, according to 247Sports, committed to Tech and spent one semester in Lubbock before spending a few seasons at New Mexico State.  

The Red Raiders ended the first half on a similar run that they started it with, scoring the last six points including a three-pointer by Williams for the last bucket of the half. 

After setting season-high shooting percentages from both the field and behind the arc in the last two games, the Red Raiders improved on those figures by posting better percentages by the end of the first half. 

After improving their field goal shooting percentages 53.3% to 58.7% in their last two games, the Red Raiders shot 62.1% in the first half against Lamar. Similarly, the Red Raiders have set season-highs from three in every single game this year and were on pace to do so again after going 8-14 from behind the arc for 57.1%. 

The Red Raiders ended the game shooting 54% from the field and 45.8% from three, both figures the second-most of the season. 

The Red Raiders started the second-half like they ended the first, with Williams leading the offense on a run. This go-around resulted in a 28-point lead for the largest of the game with 13 minutes left in the game. 

Six-foot-11 redshirt-freshman forward Daniel Batcho’s only recorded statistic was a block until 7:25 left in the game when he hauled in his first rebound. With just over four minutes left, he got his first points on a slamming breakaway dunk. 

After seeing steady improvements in production over the last few games, Batcho’s 14 minutes against Lamar were two fewer than Tech’s last win over Omaha but were still the second most of the season. He ended the game against Lamar with two points, two rebounds, two turnovers and a foul.

Tech’s first six games of the season were all technically home games, despite one being played at a neutral location in South Padre, and the team successfully remained undefeated after the stretch. Now Tech has two consecutive away games, the first against Providence in Rhode Island and the second against Tennessee in the Madison Square Garden arena in New York. 

Tech’s contest against Providence starts at 7:30 on Wednesday, Dec. 1, and the team will be playing the Friars, who are coming off a 85-71 win over St. Peters. 

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