On Thursday, No. 14 Texas Tech fell to no. 5 Kansas 58-57 in United Supermarkets arena.
“It’s a hurt locker room right now, a lot of frustration,” Head coach Chris Beard said after the game. “Not gonna sugarcoat this, extremely disappointed, I thought we had chances to win the game tonight and we didn’t.”
Junior guard Mac McClung had a much improved first half compared to his past three games. After going three straight first halves without scoring, McClung had already scored nine points in the first eight minutes of this game.
As Kansas turned up the defensive pressure and double-teamed McClung, the game transitioned into a defensive slugfest. The Tech offense began to look a bit shaken up and entered a scoring drought that lasted over three minutes with about eight minutes left in the half.
With the defense locking down, the Tech offense had to begin resorting to the free-throw line for some creation. Even with the free-throws, Kansas’ defense stayed aggressive against Tech’s offense, forcing them to go without a field goal for two and a half minutes near the four-minute mark.
The defensive showdown continued all the way until halftime, where Tech trailed 29-26.
The Red Raiders were shooting 30.0 percent from three at halftime and 32.1 percent from the field. Crashing the offensive glass helped Tech generate more offense, as they ended the first half with eight second-chance points.
McClung finished the first half as the Red Raiders’ leading scorer with 13 points.
As the teams came out of the break, McClung did not skip a beat on offense. He had six points in the first two minutes of the second half.
In addition to his scoring boost, the Red Raiders had back-to-back possessions with second chance buckets. This sequence allowed Tech to go on an 10-0 run early in the second half.
The defense continued to play well for Tech, and freshman guard Micah Peavy had yet another second-chance basket. Peavy had three offensive rebounds and four points eight minutes into the second half.
With a big bucket and foul from sophomore guard Terrence Shannon Jr., Tech extended their run to 14-3.
Shannon had a much-improved start to his second half, as he had 11 points and seven rebounds with less than 12 minutes left in the game.
Tech extended their run to 20-5, but Kansas was able to ice it with a 7-0 run of their own. This tied the game at 46 with just over eight minutes left in the game.
As Kansas switched into a 2-3 zone defense, the Tech offense went ice cold. The Red Raiders hadn’t scored in just under three minutes with four minutes to go in the game, allowing Kansas to lead 52-49.
Tech made the adjustment to attack the zone from the corner, and junior guard Jamarius Burton tied the game 54-54 with just over a minute left off a baseline drive.
With less thirty seconds left, Shannon buried a deep three-point jumper to give Tech a one-point lead.
Kansas had the ball out of a timeout with 14 seconds left and was able to get a cutter open for a bucket.
With six seconds left, Texas Tech had the ball out of a timeout. Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, they were unable to get a bucket, and lost the game 58-57.
“The play was set up for TJ Shannon to get to his left hand and for Mac McClung to be open, so either guy would have a chance to finish the game . . . it wasn’t set up for TJ to drive right and shoot a jump shot I’ll tell you that,” Beard said after the game.