Red Raiders Defeat Troy 90-85

Texas Tech opened the season in the right fashion - on the winning side of things.

Coming into the Red Raider Basketball home opener, Tech fans had dozens of questions about this team.

How will the inexperience of this team play in a live game environment? Will Robert Lewandowski step up and be the team's leader? Will Javarez Willis be the scorer Tech needs? Will Tech's fans ever get the lyrics to the fight song right?

After the game, Tech gave their fans even more questions, but they were kind enough to answer one.

No one knew if anyone was going to step up and take over the starting point guard position for the Red Raiders after the two exhibition games. But tonight, Ty Nurse certainly made his case as this team's on-court general in Tech's 90-85 win over Troy last night.

"It is a win," senior forward Robert Lewandowski said. "That is about the most positive thing we can take out of it. I thank the Lord everyday for the opportunity to play. We have a lot of good pieces. Obviously Ty (Nurse), it seems like every day, every game there is a new player that kind of surprises us. Ty was the surprise tonight, at least for the fans."

Nurse simply took the game over scoring 29 points and going 9-13 shooting. And Tech needed each and every point as the Red Raiders held a mere three point lead with 16 seconds to play.

Texas Tech was in foul trouble the whole night as Senior Robert Lewandowski had four fouls with nearly 12 minutes remaining in the game, and three of the team's starters had four fouls with a little less than seven minutes left.

Lewandowski is playing the early part of this season as Tech's one experienced post player and with his back-ups Kader Tapsoba and Dejan Kravic on the shelf; he is being forced to play more minutes thus getting him into more foul trouble.

Nurse said the team's conditioning has taken a lot of the pressure off the team late in the games and should keep them from making fouls because of fatigue.

And the conditioning paid off for Nurse as he played 39 of the games 40 minutes while only committing only two fouls.

This came as a surprise to anyone who watched the two games played here last weekend where people saw him play a mere nine minutes against Our Lady of the Lake and commit four personal fouls against Southwestern Oklahoma State.

Head Coach Billy Gillispie said Nurse may have struggled over the weekend, but he is a champion who knows how to lead a team.

"He's a winning player," he said. "He hadn't played very well in the exhibition games because I've got him messed up a little bit, but tonight I think he just relaxed and played and he made a ton of big plays."

Nurse came to Tech from Midland College where he led his team to the NJCAA Championship last year. He also has experience on the biggest Junior stages as he played with the Canadian National team in 2009.

He is a proven winner who comes through in the clutch as shown by his 82 percent free throw percentage at Midland College and his continued high percentage free throw shooting here.

He was the only one who shot well from the penalty stripe as the rest of the team went 9-19 from the line on the night, a far removal from the 80 percent the team shot over the weekend.

Gillispie said free throw shooting was the one thing his team had not worked on and it was the one thing they excelled at over the weekend. It looks like it may be time to work on it.

Tech will be getting back into action on Wednesday when the Red Raiders take on North Texas in the United Spirit Arena and Nurse said the team is much more confident moving forward with this game behind them.

"It's a great start to the season," he said. "We have a bunch of new guys, a new coach, and it's definitely good to get this win under our belt and now we can just move forward and focus on the next game."

Raider Power Top Stories