The No. 19 Texas Tech men’s basketball team improved to 13-3 overall and 3-1 in the Big 12 with a 78-57 win over Oklahoma State on Thursday. The Red Raiders next game is an 11 a.m. matchup against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas on Saturday meaning a quick turnaround for the Red Raiders.
“I’m glad it’s over, I thought the guys played well,” Adams said. “This is a tough game to be playing against very good athletes and a team that’s well coached.”
With the win, Tech improves to 48-23 overall against OSU in program history (16-11 in Lubbock) and ended a three-game losing streak to the Cowboys including two overtime losses last season.
“Texas Tech was tremendous,” OSU’s head basketball coach Mike Boynton said after the game. "Tonight they played well, made us not play well … hats off to coach Adams, his staff and his players.”
After upsetting No.1 Baylor in Waco on Tuesday, the Red Raiders returned home to take on the Cowboys for a matchup originally scheduled for New Year’s day. Originally due to be both teams’ Big 12 Opener, the game was postponed due to health and safety protocols within OSU’s program, according to Tech Athletics.
I’m at the USA before Tech takes on Oklahoma St for their first home game since beating No.1 Baylor.Starters:G - K. McCullar JrG - D. WarrenG - A. ArmsF - K. ObanorF - B. WilliamsShannon Jr seen with team in pregame warm-ups but wearing different shorts.(GAME THREAD)— Bishop Van Buren (@BishopVB_DT) January 13, 2022
Despite participating in pregame warmups with his teammates, junior guard Terrrence Shannon Jr. missed his seventh consecutive game as he continues to nurse back spasms, according to Tech Athletics.
“I was hoping he could stick around for the game,” Adams said of Shannon’s status. “But he’s getting close, he did go through warm up and we’d love to get him back for the K-State game.”
Tech’s senior forward Kevin Obanor led the game in scoring with 17 points on 6-8 shooting from the field, including three successful three pointers.
“I know I’ve been on a streaky path,” Obanor said after the game. “My team has been encouraging me, just trying not to get too hot or get too low but stay at that steady pace.”
Super-senior Adonis Arms finished second in scoring with 13 points, starting the game 3/3 from behind the arc but missing his only other three attempts to even out at 50 percent.
Since Shannon's injury, Arms has averaged 11.3 points per game through seven starts.
“He was great on the offensive end… we’re seeing just the beginning of some great things that Adonis is gonna do,” Adams said about Arms performance. “He’s improved so much, he got confident in the last two or three games. He’s a tremendous athlete that sees the floor well.”
Super-senior Marcus Santos-Silva scored a double-double in the contest, recording exactly ten points and ten rebounds. After the game, Santos-Silva said his mentality is to work for everything.
“I’m just doing what I can to bring talent to the team and play, and that’s been playing on the defensive end, that’s my focus every day,” Santos-Silva said after the game. “In the non-conference games I was on the bench not playing a lot, and I just saw how Batcho, a freshman, was playing and he gets on by playing defense.”
Redshirt-junior guard Kevin McCullar made his return to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 28 due to an ankle injury and scored the game’s first bucket with a three pointer on Tech’s first possession and sparked a 10-0 run to start the game for the Red Raiders.
Against OSU, McCullar played a team-high 29 minutes and recorded seven points, four rebounds, one steal and a team-high four assists.
“I wish I had really given McCullar less minutes, he had 29 so he’s tired but we’re so proud of him” Arms said after the game. “We’re so much better with him on the floor and he was in a little bit of pain in the game so we’ll want him to rest.”
McCullar came off the bench in Tech’s upset win over Baylor but still recorded 12 points, six rebounds and five assists. In a press conference before the game against OSU, head basketball coach Mark Adams said McCullar was back in a boot due to soreness.
McCullar was reinserted into the starting lineup and teammate junior guard Clarence Nadolny came off the bench for the first time after starting the first three games of Big 12 play.
Despite not starting, Nadolny played for 25 minutes and led the Red Raiders with three steals. He only scored two points, both from the free throw line after missing his one shot attempt (both from behind the arc).
OSU entered the contest leading the Big 12 in both steals per game (10.43) and blocked shots per game (5.64), and two Cowboys were in the top two spots for blocks-per-game, according to Big 12 Sports.
7-foot sophomore forward Moussa Cisse leads the conference with an average of two blocks per game, while his teammate and 6-foot-9 junior forward Kalib Boone averages 1.6 blocks per game.
According to Big 12 Sports, OSU also entered the game against Tech with two of the six players in the conference averaging 2 or more steals per game (Anderson - 2.1, Williams - 2).
Against Tech, Cisse recorded the sole block for OSU while Anderson and Williams combined for four steals (three and one, respectively).
The Cowboys gave up an average of 61.1 points per game through their first 14 games and their scoring margin was a conference-worst 6.1 points, according to Big 12 Sports. OSU also averaged 15.6 turnovers per game before taking on the Red Raiders, the most in the Big 12.
According to Big 12 Sports, OSU had made just 75 of their 257 shot attempts from behind the arc before Thursday for a conference-worst 29.2 percent.
The Cowboys went 6-21 from behind the arc against Tech for a rate of 28.6 percent while Red Raiders ended the game 9-23 for 39.1 percent.
“I thought we got good looks, sometimes when you get down you start pressing a little bit,” Boynton said of the Cowboys shooting performance, “Maybe the overall wear and tear of their defense over time forced us to shoot a lower percentage.
OSU’s redshirt-sophomore guard Tyreek Smith spent his first two seasons in college as a Red Raider under Tech’s former head coach Chris Beard, a medical-redshirt in his first year and a reserve off the bench in 29 games in the 2020-21 season.
According to Tech Athletics, Smith averaged 2.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game last season and was second on the Red Raiders with 21 blocks. Against Tech, Smith scored just two points but recorded six rebounds, tying his teammate and sophomore forward Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe for a team-high.
Before then, Tech will have to take on the Kansas State Wildcats on their home court on Saturday and avoid falling to 4-2 in Big 12 play. Kansas State’s last game was a tightly contested 60-57 loss that saw the Wildcats give up a late-game lead to Big 12 rival Texas Christian University.
According to Big 12 Sports, Kansas State averages a conference-worst 68.7 points per game on 42.8 percent shooting from the field, also the worst in the Big 12.
After a 78-57 win over Oklahoma State, the Red Raiders will be looking to finish their week on a strong note when they take on Kansas State at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The game will take place in the Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas and will be televised on ESPN2.
“It’ll be a quick turnaround, I already talked to the guys about that and I think they’re up for the challenge,” Adams said. “They’re very well coached … we’re gonna have to be ready to guard them for 40 minutes because they’re constantly moving and passing the ball, so it’ll be a good challenge for us.”