Davion Warren makes an inbounds play

Davion Warren passes the ball in bounds against Prairie View A&M University at the United Supermarkets Arena on Nov. 15, 2021.

Texas Tech’s men’s basketball team improved to 5-0 after defeating the Omaha Mavericks by a score of 96-40 on Tuesday, Nov. 23. This is the program's highest scoring game so far this season as well as its largest margin of victory.  

Still undefeated under head coach Mark Adams, the Red Raiders’ next matchup is another home contest against Lamar, who plays UTSA tomorrow, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m. before traveling to Lubbock to play in the United Supermarkets Arena at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27.

After recording season high shooting percentages against Incarnate Word in its most recent game, shooting 53.3% from the field and 39.1% from three, Tech improved on both figures. Against Omaha, the Red Raiders shot 58.7% from the field and 50% from three. 

Kevin McCullar missed the contest due to a non-COVID-19 related illness, according to Tech Athletics. Without the Red Raiders’ leader in minutes up to this game (123), Adams rolled out a lineup that featured junior Mylik Wilson’s return after coming off the bench in Tech’s recent win over Incarnate Word.

G - Mylik Wilson, Junior, transfer from Louisiana 

G - Terrence Shannon Jr, Junior

G - Davion Warren, Super-Senior, transfer from Hampton

F - Kevin Obanor, Senior, transfer from Oral Roberts

F - Bryson Williams, Super-Senior, transfer from UTEP

Shannon led the Red Raiders in scoring with an 18-point performance that included three made three-pointers on just four attempts, a block and two steals while giving up just one turnover.

Shannon said he enjoyed playing in front of a home crowd for the first time this season.

"I was waiting to be back and play here," Shannon said. "We happened to blow the team out by a lot, it was good energy for Thanksgiving break coming up. It was a great crowd and it just felt good overall."

6-foot-11 redshirt-freshman transfer Daniel Batcho led Tech in both rebounds (10) and assists (6), setting career-highs in both categories. After the game, Batcho said his rebounding success comes from motivation for more minutes.

"I think I'm just trying to play hard and do everything out there that I can," Batcho said. "Because I know like, right now I'm not paying a lot of minutes, so as soon as I'm on the court®t I'm trying to play as hard as I can."

This comes after Batcho recorded eight rebounds in 11 minutes against Incarnate Word, earning praise from Adams after game that included a promise of increased playing time. 

Sure enough, the French native who transferred to Tech from Arizona after missing his entire freshman season due to injury, saw a season-high 16 minutes against Omaha. After the game, Adams said Batcho is making progress each game.  

“He's a great young man and our staff's worked really hard with him but he's very coachable,” Adams said. "We talked a lot about his high basketball IQ, he had six assists if you can imagine tonight for a kid that's 6'11."

Warren finished second with 14 points, bringing his average down from 14.3 points per game to 14.2. Warren led the Red Raiders in scoring at halftime with ten points, just one more than Shannon. 

Tech opened the second half with a 24-7 run to put them up 40 points over Omaha (67-27), the 39th and 40th point came when a Warren steal led to a fast-break slam right on top of an Omaha defender, prompting Warren to wave his hand down on his head in celebration. 

In his return to the starting lineup, Mylik Wilson played at the point-guard position in McCullar’s place. A move that saw him score eight points on 4-4 shooting from the field to go along with four assists and a team-high three steals in nineteen minutes. 

Before the game against Omaha, McCullar led Tech in rebounds with 25 and came in second in average points per game with 15.3, trailing only super-senior Bryson Williams. 

Williams scored only five points against Omaha, bringing his average down to 14.2 and tying him with Davion Warren for second place. Williams recorded nine rebounds though, placing him atop the Red Raiders with eight more than McCullar. 

Despite entering the game as Tech’s leader in made three-pointers with nine, Kevin Obanor missed both of his attempts from behind the arc and finished the game with just two points against Omaha, the lowest of any Red Raider. 

KJ Allen and Sardaar Calhoun checked into the game midway through the second half for their first appearances on the court in over a week after sitting in Shannon’s return against Incarnate Word.  

Calhoun scored a season-high eights points against Omaha despite seeing only nine minutes of playing time, the lowest of any Red Raider. His eight points came from a layup and two made three pointers in three attempts, tying his season total prior to the game despite 12 attempts.  

Allen also scored a new season-high against Omaha, with six points on 3-for-3 shooting from the field to go along with two rebounds. 

Aside from Shannon and McCullar, there are just three other returners from last year’s roster in sophomore guard Chibuzo Agbo, junior guard Clarence Nadolny and super-senior forward Marcus Santos-Silva. 

Against Omaha, each of them only saw fifteen minutes and failed to score double digit points, although Santos-Silva scored nine and finished third on the team in rebounding with seven. Santos-Silva also ended the game with the highest plus/minus rating on the team with +34. 

"Like coach said, it was our best game together as a team because we really shot the ball together, we really made the ball move," Batcho said. "It's not only the bigs but also the guards, thanks to them."

After improving to 5-0 with a win over Omaha, the Red Raiders will look to remain undefeated under new head coach Mark Adams when they host Lamar at 3 p.m. on Saturday for their last home game before traveling to Rhode Island to take on Providence College in this year’s Big 12/Big East Battle.

"I''m excited to see all of our guys get in the game and contribute," Adams said. "I thought this was overall our best game on both ends of the floor, just pleased with our defensive effort..."

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