Red Raiders Take Final Exhibition Game 119-80

Texas Tech looked better in its final exhibition game, but there is still improvements to be made.

All anyone learned from Tech's two basketball exhibition games is the Red Raiders are going to hustle everywhere they go.

Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie preaches hustle and conditioning every day in practice and yells at the team constantly from the sideline urging them to give their best effort every time.

If people were hoping to learn about how Tech is going to play this year from these two games, they came away sorely disappointed.

The Red Raiders defeated the Saints of Our Lady of the Lake 119-80 tonight in the United Spirit Arena, and Tech came out firing from the opening buzzer.

The Red Raiders started the game on an 8-0 run and simply overpowered the Saints forcing them to foul Tech repeatedly.

Our Lady of the Lake committed 46 personal fouls on the game including 21 in the first half, and Tech took advantage of every opportunity they got at the line shooting 81 percent from the penalty stripe.

But Tech was not without their own mistakes. They turned the ball over 19 times in the first 13 minutes of the game.

Gillispie said the mistakes are correctable and his team played much better tonight than on Thursday.

"I thought they really improved drastically from one time to the next," he said. "One team is a half court team, and we learned a lot, one team is a fouling team, and we learned a lot, and those situations will occur again in the very near future, and we'll be better because we have seen them."

Of Tech's three returning starters, senior Robert Lewandowski saw the most minutes and had the biggest impact over the two games this weekend.

Lewandowski played every minute of the game tonight and recorded a double-double by totaling 25 points and 12 rebounds while going 13-13 from the foul line.

He was not the only player to record a double-double on the game as freshman Terran Petteway had 17 points and 10 rebounds of his own. This is his second straight game with double figures in rebounds as he had 10 on Thursday night.

But the man who hyped up all of the fans tonight was freshman Jordan Tolbert. He repeatedly got position on the Saints post players and threw it down with authority registering six dunks on the night.

Tolbert's length makes him a difficult match-up for any defender and the Saints were a not sound defensive team, Gillispie said, but Tech should have had more opportunities in the low post.

"We just have to do a better job of driving when the drive is appropriate, getting the ball reversed when it's appropriate and throwing the ball inside," he said. "We had a few possessions but just not nearly enough."

The fluidity of this offense will improve the second Tech can find a true point guard to lead the offense.

With the departure of John Roberson, Tech is faced with putting a first year player in charge of this offense which is no small task.

Among the candidates are Toddrick Gotcher, Ty Nurse, and Deshon Minnis among others, but no one separated themselves in these two games and someone is going to have to learn on the fly in the early part of the season.

The players are learning as fast as they can, Gillispie said, but it's not going to happen overnight.

"They're trying, and they're overthinking things," he said. "They know if they make too many mistakes, either in practice or in games, they're going to be taken out and you can't play that way, so I'm messing them up in that way as well."

The team needs to find someone soon because the season starts on Friday when the Red Raiders take on Troy here in Lubbock.

Gillispie said they are taking their time and doing everything they can to get ready for the season and they are looking forward to it.

"We're taking baby steps with each player, taking baby steps with our team, taking baby steps with our program," he said, "and if you take enough baby steps, before long, you've got something special."




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