Andy Ellis In The Lane - 12.02

The Red Raiders got some sand in their shorts at the South Padre Invitational. However, notched one in the win column back home against Oral Roberts.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders made it back into the winning column on Tuesday with a win against Oral Roberts. It was good to see them win after such a close game. The team made their free throws and the defensive stops they needed in order to win the game. Hopefully, this game will be the start of a good string of wins before conference play.

Also from this game, there were two players who got some action that we haven't seen in quite some time. D'walyn Roberts was back in action for the first time since the opening game of the year. He is a welcomed addition the team, as he brings a lot to the team on the defensive end especially. Paul Cooper finally made his first appearance of the season as well. After having a nagging ankle injury and surgery, it is good to have him on the floor now. Now, these guys can start to work themselves into the playing shape for the Big 12 season.

Let's go back and look at the two games in South Padre. The first game was a loss to St. Mary's. The guys did not play well on the defensive end of the court; consequently, it had them down 24 points at halftime. However, from that point on, the energy picked up allowing the team to win the second half.

On Saturday the Raiders played the best all around game so far this season. South Florida is a good team in the Big East Conference. The Bulls are big, athletic and a physical team. Tech answered the challenge and battled hard throughout the game. The Red Raiders played the best defense of the season and held their own on the boards against a great rebounding team.

Unfortunately, the Red Raiders were unable to finish the game off against South Florida. Our shots weren't falling and we just couldn't get the plays done to win. Although the team went 0-2 in South Padre, the Red Raiders should learn from their mistakes and move forward with the season.

Next up for the Red Raiders is the 23rd ranked team in the country, the Washington Huskies. Washington has a team that loves to get up and down the court quickly. The Huskies score a lot of points and have a very balanced team, lead by Isaiah Thomas, who is a very good scoring guard.

Tech will have to play the best game of the year to beat the Huskies. If Tech can keep up the defensive play and battle on the boards, then they will give themselves a chance to knock down shots and get a huge road win. This game will be a big challenge for the Red Raiders, but just another step in getting ready for the Big 12.

So, everybody make sure to tune in to the Texas Tech Sports Network on Saturday at 3pm. The game will be on TV so you can check it out there as well and support the Red Raiders in their toughest challenge of the year so far.

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