Texas Tech Basketball vs. Tennessee State

Coach Chris Beard speaks to his players during a timeout during the Texas Tech basketball game against Tennessee State University at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019 in the United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders defeated the Tigers, 72-57.

The Texas Tech men’s basketball team left Las Vegas with its first two losses of the season after going 0-2 in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic on Friday in Orleans Arena. 

The Red Raiders’ leading scorer Jahmi’us Ramsey left the game against Iowa with a hamstring injury with 10 minutes remaining in the second half and did not play in the game against Creighton. He finished with seven points and four rebounds on 3-11 shooting in the game against the Hawkeyes.

As a team, Tech shot 22.2 percent from the three-point line and 38.2 percent from the field over the weekend. After the Classic, Tech’s three-point average dropped 15.7 percent.

Graduate transfer Chris Clarke averaged 14 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7 assists in the tournament. Clarke’s stat line and junior guard Davide Moretti’s career-high 23 points were the highlights of the Red Raiders’ weekend.

Head coach Chris Beard said Clarke was a bright spot for the Red Raiders this weekend and said he is playing at a high level, according to a Tech Athletics news release.

“Chris (Clarke) played with a lot of courage this weekend,” Beard said. “He was best our rebounder and best assist person on the stats tonight. He plays with poise out there. He can tell you -- he can get better. He’s playing at a high, high level. He was one of the positives this weekend.”

Redshirt freshman from Russia Andrei Savrasov played his best game as a Red Raider in Ramsey’s absence. He put up a career-high six points in 10 minutes, the most playing time for him this season, against Creighton. Savrasov bounced back from two early misses, one of which was an air ball, hitting back-to-back threes to give the Red Raiders a spark against the Bluejays.

Kyler Edwards averaged 12 points, six rebounds and 3.5 assists over the weekend and played a key role for the Red Raiders’ late-game comeback attempts.

Graduate transfer TJ Holyfield, the team’s leader in field goal percentage, shot just 4-14 in Vegas. He took just one shot against Creighton and got in foul trouble so Beard had to limit his minutes. Holyfield picked up four fouls in both games, making it tough on his teammates as he usually played a vital role in the team’s rotation.

Tech had to overcome double-digit deficits at halftime of both games. The Red Raiders trailed by 10 against Iowa and 14 against Creighton after the first half. Beard said he did not like the way the team started after the Iowa game but thought the team played well in the second half, according to the news release.

“Before, we were the hunters. Now we are the hunted,” Beard said. “I didn’t like our start tonight. In the second half, we played Texas Tech basketball, and we played smarter. I give Iowa credit. We respect their team.”

Coach Beard put the early deficits on his coaching, saying he needs to find a way to coach his team better, according to the news release.

“You can’t be down 10 points to Iowa at halftime and you can’t be down 14 to Creighton at halftime,” Beard said. “That falls on me. I have to find a way to coach these guys better.”

San Diego State beat Iowa 83-73 in the title game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, according to the news release. The Aztecs led with 14:01 left in the game and did not look back.

Tech will look to bounce back at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday against DePaul, which is 8-0, in Chicago, home of freshman guard Terrence Shannon Jr.

 

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