The No. 12 Texas Tech men’s basketball team suffered an 83-76 loss to Creighton at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational on Friday in overtime.
Like the game before, the Red Raiders struggled in the first half of the game. At the end of the first half, the Bluejays had a 14-point lead, 46-32. Creighton’s lead came with the help of Marcus Zegarowski who had 18 points and Ty-Shon Alexander who recorded 15 points. The duo also shot a combined 11-14 from the field and 6-9 from beyond the arc.
The Red Raiders struggled to defend the Bluejays as they shot 61.5 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from the three in the first half as a team.
As Tech had a tough time defending Creighton, the Red Raiders also struggled with their three-point shooting. The Red Raiders shot 40.6 percent from the field, but from beyond the arc, Tech made just 15.4 percent of its shots. Tech did, however, force four turnovers, one being a steal by sophomore guard Kyler Edwards.
The first half ended with junior guard Davide Moretti and graduate transfer guard Chris Clarke both leading the team with nine points each. Moretti was off from beyond the arc, making one of his five three-point attempts, but recorded a single assist. Clarke was shooting 4-7 from the field and 1-3 from beyond the arc, but also tallied three rebounds and three assists.
Graduate transfer TJ Holyfield recorded a team-high five rebounds in the first half and also dished out one assist, but did not make a single basket.
In the second half, the Red Raiders outscored the Bluejays 42-28, tying the game up to send it to overtime. The second half was led by Moretti who recorded 14 points and a steal, followed by Clarke and Edwards. Clarke recorded eight points, six assists, four rebounds and a steal in the second half. Edwards also had an all-around half, recording eight points, five rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal.
As a team, the Red Raiders shot 55.6 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from beyond the arc in the second half while holding Creighton to 47.8 percent from the field and 22.2 percent in three-point attempts.
The Red Raiders’ defense kicked in as well in the second half as they forced 10 Bluejay turnovers. Six of those turnovers came from Tech’s five steals and one block.
With the Red Raiders having the momentum going into overtime, five minutes were added to the clock. In overtime, Creighton outscored Tech 9-2, leading to an 83-76 victory for the Bluejays.
Tech’s only make of eight attempts in the period of overtime came from Edwards as the team went zero-for-six from the three-point line. While Tech kept trying to find success from the three-point line, the Bluejays took a different approach, shooting just one three with the rest of their nine shots coming from the field. Creighton’s Zegarowski made two of his three shots in overtime to ultimately lead the Bluejays to the upset.
With the conclusion of the game, Moretti led the team in scoring with 23 points, followed by Clarke with 17 and Edwards with 14. Edwards led the Red Raiders in rebounding with eight with Clarke trailing with seven. Clarke almost recorded a double-double as he recorded nine assists in Tech’s final game in Las Vegas. Defensively, the Red Raiders recorded two blocks and six steals, led by Edwards who had one block and two steals.
Following back-to-back losses in Las Vegas, the Red Raiders are set to play DePaul in Chicago for the Big East/Big 12 Battle at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. DePaul is currently 9-0 and defeated Iowa by 15 points earlier in the season. For fans who cannot make the game, it will be televised on FS1.