The Texas Tech men’s basketball team suffered a 63-57 loss to the Bahamas National Team in Paradise Island, Bahamas in the first game of their foreign tour on Wednesday.
“We’re appreciative of the Bahamian National Team,” head coach Chris Beard said, according to the release. “We wanted to play against great competition and they had their best players, a lot of pros, so we’re appreciative of the opportunity to play against good competition.”
Although the Red Raiders lost by six points, the 2019-20 team showed promise after losing the majority of their starting lineup from last season.
Senior forward Chris Clarke recorded a double-double in his first game wearing scarlet and black as he scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, according to a Tech Athletics news release. While former Virginia Tech Hokie was dominant on offense, shooting 66.7 percent from the field, Clarke showed up on the defensive end, as he was one of two players to record both a steal and a block.
“First of all the positives. It’s great to see Chris Clarke and T.J. Holyfield out there playing college basketball again. Both of those guys sat out last year, haven’t played college basketball in over a year,” Beard said, according to Tech Athletics. “Then obviously with those seven freshmen, those guys getting the opportunity to come and feel what this level of competition is about. It’s just a real positive, getting those guys game time.”
Another new face for the Red Raiders, freshman guard Terrence Shannon Jr., had a solid performance against the Bahamas National Team, according to the news release.
Shannon recorded nine points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal in his first game as a collegiate athlete, according to the release. The freshman struggled from the field, shooting 25 percent, but led Tech at the charity stripe as he made five of his six free throws.
Freshman guard Jahmi’us Ramsey struggled against the national team as he was one-for-five from the field, draining a single three-pointer, according to the release. Ramsey finished with four points after making a single free throw.
Although Ramsey was not in rhythm on offense, the newcomer was one of three Red Raider guards to record five rebounds, according to the release.
Junior guard Davide Moretti, sophomore guard Kyler Edwards and redshirt sophomore guard Avery Benson were the only returning members of last year’s NCAA national runner-up team as they tried to help the Red Raiders win the first game of their foreign tour, according to the release.
Moretti led the returning players with 10 points, five assists and five rebounds, according to the release. The junior helped the Red Raiders cut the national team’s lead to five points after draining two three-pointers in the second half after trailing by 13 at halftime, but his efforts were not enough to give Tech the lead.
Edwards struggled from behind the arc as he missed all seven of his attempts, according to the release. Although he had a rough game from behind the three-point line, Edwards made two of his five two-pointers to finish with four points and snagged four defensive rebounds and dished out three assists in the first game with his new team.
Earning almost 12 minutes of playing time, Benson took just one shot, making his three-point attempt in the first half of the game, according to the release. Benson also finished with four rebounds and two steals.
While several Red Raiders had good games, turnovers ultimately led to Tech’s loss to the Bahamas National Team. The national team forced 21 turnovers resulting in 21 points off of the Red Raiders’ mistakes.
“Obviously we got to play better,” Beard said, according to Tech Athletics. “21 turnovers, we can’t beat anyone on our schedule. We understand that, the players understand that.”
Even though Tech lost, the Red Raiders showed promise as 31 points came from players off of the bench, according to the release. Tech also showed its dominance down low as the Red Raiders shot 51.4 percent in the paint.
“Obviously it’s not the result we’re looking for, but right now, with this young team, we’re more interested in the process of improving than we are of the final result on the scoreboard,” Beard said after the loss, according to Tech Athletics.
The Red Raiders look to bounce back as they take on Mega Bemax at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Kendal G.L. Issacs National Gymnasium. Tech will then conclude its foreign tour with a second game against Mega Bemax at noon on Sunday.