Texas Tech earned their fourth win of the season with an 84-62 victory over Incarnate Word on Saturday in the 2021 South Padre Island Battle on the Beach. The Red Raider were able to remain undefeated under new head coach Mark Adams thanks to season highs in team shooting percentages, 53.3% from the field and 39.1% from behind the arc.

Another major factor in Tech’s win over Incarnate Word was their ability to win the turnover battle, giving up a season-low 11 turnovers while a season-high 14 steals helped force UIW into 22 turnovers, the most this season for Cardinals, according to UIW Athletics. 

“We appreciate the opportunity to come to the Valley, I love this place and it’s a great atmosphere,” head coach Mark Adams said. “We had an unbelievable trip and the best thing about it was that Incarnate Word made us better.”

After starting the same lineup in each of the first three games of the season, junior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. made his season debut and pushed junior guard Mylik Wilson to the bench. 

G - Kevin McCullar Jr., redshirt junior

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

McCullar led the Red Raiders in scoring for the second time this season, this time recording 17 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 34 minutes (third time this season playing the most minutes). 

After entering the game with three successful three-pointers on 13 attempts (all three coming from the same game), McCullar made a season-high four threes in six attempts, bringing his rate this season to 36.8%, according to Tech Athletics; however, he recorded a team-high four personal fouls and gave up three turnovers.

Despite also giving up three turnovers, Shannon finished second on the team in scoring with his 16 points being one less than McCullar. Shannon also recorded a team-high six assists in addition to one rebound and two steals.

Shannon scored the first five points of the game with a three-pointer and a dunk in back-to-back possessions. 

“It felt good being back with my teammates," Shannon said. "They were waiting, and I was waiting, for me to get the call when I would be back on the court. We came out and started off slow, but we got the win and had a better second half, so overall it was good.”

The other Red Raider making his season debut was junior guard Clarence Nadolny, who finished the game with zero points in 17 minutes after missing two three-pointers for his only shot attempts of the night. He also recorded a team-high three steals. 

Nadolny subbed into the game in Tech’s first rotation alongside Wilson, taking out Shannon and Warren. By the end of the first half, Nadolny had seen 14 minutes while Wilson had four. 

Wilson went scoreless for the first time this season in his first game off the bench, recording one assist, two rebounds and two steals in 11 minutes. Eleven minutes was the lowest playing time total of any Red Raider, but 6-foot-11 redshirt freshman Daniel Batcho matched this playing time total.

Despite his low amount of time on the court, Batcho’s 11 minutes were the most for him this season and he set multiple other season-highs, including points (8), rebounds (8), steals (1) and assists (1).

Batcho’s eight rebounds all came in the second half, highlighting what Shannon said was an increased effort on the boards in the second half.

“At halftime the rebounds were 10 to 13, we only had 10 rebounds because no one was crashing the offensive boards,” Shannon said. “But Batcho and Bryson and Marcus, they played well, especially Batcho and Bryson, they had a big second half … I feel like that helped us a lot.”

After the win, Adams said he noticed the same increase in effort and said Batcho was someone who has earned increased playing time. 

“At halftime we just didn't have the energy, could not match the intensity that Incarnate Word had, so we talked a lot about more effort, getting on the glass, taking care of the ball, and getting after it defensively ...” Adams said. “Daniel Batcho was outstanding, he made a huge impression on our program today and myself, so he’s certainly earned the opportunity to get more playing time.”

Batcho got UIW’s 6-foot-11 Australian freshman center Benjamin Gristci into foul trouble with four fouls by halftime. 

Santos-Silva launched a dunk down on top of Gristci with just over two and a half minutes left in the game, sending Griscti to the bench for the rest of the game with 12 points and three rebounds. 

Tech traveled to South Padre coming off a 45-point win over Prairie View in front of a home crowd on Monday, a game that saw a closing lineup of Batcho, sophomore transfer forward KJ Allen, junior guard Chibuzo Agbo, and two super-senior transfer guards Sardaar Calhoun and Adonis Arms.

Arms scored the most points against PVAMU among players in that final lineup (7), leading to a season-high scoring performance against Incarnate Word that saw Arms score 12 points on 5/9 shooting from the field. 

With the return of Shannon and Nadolny, some players lost playing time. Besides Arms and Batcho, every other member of the closing lineup against Prairie View did not see the court once against Incarnate Word. 

Starters Williams, Warren, and Obanor all scored season-lows against Incarnate Word. Williams entered the game as Tech’s leading scorers with an average of 18.7 points per game. After the game in South Padre, that figure dipped to 16.5 points per game, according to Tech Athletics. 

Warren entered the game with Tech’s second highest scoring average at 16 points per game, leading to a secure starting role against UIW despite Shannon’s return. In his third straight game with 25 minutes, Warren went 0-2 from three en route to a nine-point scoring total against UIW. 

Obanor was Tech’s only starter to see a season-low in minutes with fifteen, but he still tied his season high in rebounds with six and recorded his first block of the season in a six-point performance in South Padre. 

Tech led the turnover battle 14-6 by halftime, helping the Red Raiders maintain their lead through halftime despite the fact UIW led in rebounds (13-10) and had shot over 58 percent from behind the arc in the first half, making 7 of their 12 three-point attempts. 

After going into halftime with a five point 36-31 lead, Tech outscored Incarnate Word 48-31 in the second half. Tech won the turnover battle by recording half of Incarnate Word’s 22 total turnovers, and the Red Raiders scored a total of 40 points off of those turnovers, according to Tech Athletics. 

After beating Incarnate Word by a score of 84-62 in the South Padre Island Battle on the Beach, the Red Raiders and head coach Mark Adams remain undefeated with a 4-0 record. On deck for Tech is a 7 p.m. contest against Omaha on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at the United Supermarkets Arena.

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