Throughout its entire season, the Texas Tech men’s basketball team picked up most of its points during the second half of games. The tactic of Red Raiders making the deciding points in the second half did not change during the NCAA Tournament.
In the game against Northern Kentucky, the Red Raiders went into halftime leading 30-26 but won 72-57. The only player who scored above 10 points was sophomore guard Jarrett Culver, who scored 12 points, according to Tech Athletics. Tech shot .520 from the field and .125 from the free throw line making one of its eight attempts in the first half. In the second half, Culver put in 17 points, the team shot .536 from the field, but was perfect at the free throw line.
In the contest against Buffalo, Tech was leading 33-25 at halftime, however, the final score was 78-58 with Tech winning by 20 points. No one in the first half scored over 10 points with Culver, again, being the highest scorer with just eight points, according to Tech Athletics. During the first half, the Red Raiders shot just .222 from the three-point line. In the second half, Culver scored another eight points while redshirt senior center Norense Odiase scored nine points. In the second half, the team shot a .429 from the three-point line.
The first half in the game against Michigan was one of the lowest scoring first halves in the NCAA Tournament this year. Tech went into halftime leading 24-16 but ended up winning the game 63-44, according to Tech Athletics.
Culver scored eight points in the first half but 14 points in the second half, according to Michigan Athletics. The Red Raiders shot .375 from the field in the first half and .519 from the field in the tail end of the game. Tech shot .250 from the three-point line and .364 from the three-point line in the second half.
The Tech versus Gonzaga game was the only game where the two teams went into halftime with a close score and ended the game with a close score as well. The Red Raiders trailed 37-35 at the half but came back to win 75-69, according to Gonzaga Athletics. Redshirt senior guard Matt Mooney was the only player to score more than 10 points in the first half, putting in 11. In the second half, Culver put in 12 points after scoring just eight points in the first half.
During the Final Four game against Michigan State, the Red Raiders went into the half ahead 23-21, but Tech won 61-51, according to ESPN. Culver scored just one point in the first half, while Mooney scored 10 points. The team shot .308 from the field in the first half and finished the game shooting .431 from the field in the second half.
The team’s final game against Virginia was a lot like the Gonzaga game, but Tech did not end up on top. Virginia went into the half shooting .333 from the field while Francis and Moretti both had eight points each, according to ESPN.
The Red Raiders finished the game shooting .429 from the field with Culver and Moretti scoring 15 total points, according to sports-reference.com. Francis led the team with 17 points, which is the second game this season he has led in points.
In every game in the NCAA Tournament except for the last game, Tech’s second half surge pushed the team past opponents. This tactic was part of the team’s success, surprising its opponents when the team came back into the game.