RECAP: No. 18 Red Raiders 66, Sooners 54

NORMAN, Oklahoma – Texas Tech senior Norense Odiase secured 11 rebounds, freshman Kyler Edwards recorded a career-high six assists and four Red Raiders scored in double-figures in a 66-54 Big 12 Conference road win over Oklahoma on Saturday at the Lloyd Noble Center.

No. 18 Texas Tech (19-5, 7-4 Big 12) swept the season series over Oklahoma (15-9, 3-8 Big 12) for the first time since 2010 after limiting the Sooners to 36.2 percent shooting, owning the rebounding advantage and matching a season-best with 10 3-pointers. Tech, which led 35-24 at halftime with seven 3-pointers, had won a 66-59 decision over OU in the first matchup earlier this season in Lubbock and has now won three straight over the Sooners dating back to last season.

Davide Moretti led the Red Raiders with 14 points after hitting four shots from the field and going 4-for-4 at the free-throw line, while Jarrett Culver had 13 points and Matt Mooney and Brandone Francis had 11 each. The Red Raiders finished the game shooting 42.6 percent the field and made 10 3-pointers for the fourth time this season. Odiase, who had 10 rebounds in Monday’s 81-50 win over West Virginia, now has four games with double-digit rebounds this season and Tariq Owens now has six games with four or more blocks and 59 for the season after having four against the Sooners. Owens also had four blocks against the Sooners in the first matchup. Moretti has now scored in double figures in 10 of 11 conference games and has led the team in five games this season.

Texas Tech is now 4-1 in its last five games after a three-game losing streak that had the Red Raiders at 4-3 in conference play. The team has since run off conference wins over TCU, West Virginia and now the Sooners and find themselves among the leaders in the Big 12 Conference fight.

“We have been getting better in practice an in games,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “I think today we made a couple steps and that is what we are all trying to do this time of year. We all feel the pressure and the need to win these games, but there is something bigger than each individual game that is coming. For us, it’s just playing the best we can. Are we playing better right now than we were a couple of weeks ago? Yes. Are we playing as well as we can? No. This time of year is about trying to improve and today against an opponent and coach that we have a lot of respect for I thought we did improve.”

Francis led the Red Raiders with three 3-pointers, while Mooney added two 3s and led the team with four steals for the second straight game. Mooney now leads Tech with 43 steals this season and also 71 assists after adding three more against the Sooners. Edwards recorded his career-high six assists after having four on Monday against WVU and also scored eight points in a game where the Red Raiders had 15 total assists on 23 made shots. Mooney and Culver both added three assists and Francis had two along with five rebounds in the game.

OU only led once in the opening minute of the game and only got the game to single-digits once in the second half. The Red Raiders took their 11-point halftime lead to 20 for the first time on a Culver jumper and would lead by as many as 23 points with six minutes remaining. Tech’s lead was cut to nine on a Miles Reynolds layup with 13 minutes to play before a Moretti 3-pointer took the advantage to 49-37 in a game that never got closer.

Culver would make the 10th 3-pointer of the game for the Red Raiders to push the lead to 64-41 at the 5:46 mark that would be the final basket of the game for Tech.
Rashard Odomes led the Sooners with 14 points after going 5-for-5 from the field, while Brady Manek and Christian James had 11. Manek recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds to go along with his 11 points and James also added eight rebounds. Tech had a 38-35 rebounding advantage in the game and limited the Sooners to 4-for-14 from beyond the arc.

The Red Raiders took a 35-24 lead into halftime with Odiase grabbing his seventh rebound of the half and putting in a buzzer-beater for the 11-point lead at the break. TTU was shooting 43.3 percent from the field with seven 3-pointers, while OU was limited to 8-for-29 shooting (27.6 percent) and only had two 3s.

TTU took a 30-13 lead on a Francis 3-pointer that capped a 13-0 run before the Sooners went on a 7-0 run of their own to get back into the game. Another Francis shot from beyond the arc gave the Red Raiders the 33-20 lead with 1:45 remaining in the half. Francis led the Red Raiders with 11 points at halftime after going 4-for-6 from the field with three 3-pointers. Mooney and Moretti had five points each at halftime, while Odiase had two points to go along with his seven rebounds at the break. Tech owned a 23-18 rebounding advantage after 20 minutes with Edwards and Francis having three each and Corprew at two as the reserves had eight of the first 23 rebounds for the Red Raiders.

Edwards had five points in the half after making back-to-back baskets, first a layup and then a 3-pointer to give the Red Raiders a 25-13 in the middle of the 13-0 run. Tech had started the game 2-for-10 with Francis hitting one 3-pointer and then a layup to give the Red Raiders a 7-4 lead, but OU was also 2-for-10 to start the game. Tech led by double-digits at halftime for the fourth conference game of the season.

Texas Tech returns to action Oklahoma State at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cowboys (9-14, 2-8 Big 12) will be coming off an 84-72 loss at Kansas on Saturday in Lawrence, Kansas and have now lost six straight conference games. TTU and OSU will be meeting for the first time this season after splitting last year’s regular-season series with the home team winning both times.

The Red Raiders are now 3-3 on the road in conference play and are 4-1 in their last five games. The win over the Sooners was their first in Norman since 2014 and it is only the second time the Red Raiders have won three in a row in the series and twice in the same season. OU now leads 39-26 all-time in a series that began in 1944.

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