LUBBOCK — It looks like Texas Tech is finally through with its first-half funk … for now.
Both the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders had dominant first halves on Tuesday night to beat their opponents soundly at United Spirit Arena. The men won 103-79 over Georgia Southern just a few hours after the women beat Mississippi Valley State, 73-28.
"I was happy with the start but then after 10 minutes we relaxed when we could've got a better lead, really put them away," Tech men's head coach Pat Knight said. "But our start was much better than what it has been."
Senior David Tairu led the Red Raiders for the second consecutive game, scoring a career-high 22 points to lead five players in double figures.
Tech (4-1) hit 12 3-pointers in the game, led by three each from Roberson and Tairu. It was only the fourth time in the last two seasons that the Red Raiders hit 10 or more treys in a game.
"We have a lot of plays when teams run zone and Georgia Southern didn't want to guard our motion offense," Tairu said. "That's what opened a lot of shots at perimeter."
The Lady Raiders (4-0) held Mississippi Valley State to just 14 points in each half and dominated under the rim. Kierra Mallard and Christine Hyde led all scorers with 15 points each as 12 Tech players scored during the win.
More important than the decisive win was Tech's ability to not let up when head coach Kristy Curry challenged them at the break — something the team had been susceptible to in the past when they have a big lead over any opponent.
"We did a better job as far as our perimeter presence, decision making wise, and the post did a better job," she said. "It was a combination the other night of working and going to the open areas, crashing the offensive glass and that is what every experience we have is about, continuing to improve."
The Lady Raiders will host three games in three days as part of the World Vision Classic. Tech begins the tournament on Friday against Charleston Southern (6 p.m. CDT), then faces American (12 p.m. Saturday) and Sam Houston State (2 p.m. Sunday) to round out the weekend.
Knight and the men's basketball team will celebrate Thanksgiving in South Padre Island at the South Padre Island Invitational, which begins Friday against Saint Mary's. Tech will then play either South Florida or BYU on Saturday. All four teams in the tournament made the NIT or NCAA postseason tournaments last year.
"The players are looking forward to the trip and playing in a different setting," Knight said. "It's going to be a good tournament, and the South Padre hosts do an excellent job with their event."