Texas Tech Guts Out Win Over Texas

The Red Raiders wrapped the regular season with a 59-53 victory over the Longhorns on Saturday at United Spirit Arena. The result marked Tech's first win over Texas since 2008 and first home finale win since 2004.

Heading into the final
two minutes of this game, Texas Tech was 0 of 10 from 3-point range, but Jaye Crockett, and then Jordan Tolbert, knocked down bombs to stake the Red Raiders to a seven-point advantage with 1:08 left to play.

Prior to the final minute of Tech's cathartic 59-53 win over Texas (22-9, 11-7), the Red Raiders (14-17, 6-12) were a paltry 11 of 20 from the free throw line. But Dusty Hannahs calmly drained four straight in the final 25 seconds to seal the deal.

The Red Raiders were only 5-10 in games decided by 10 points or less, but on Senior Day, Crockett (22 points, 10 rebounds) wasn't going to let Tech lose another gut-wrencher.

Crockett's scoring and rebounding were perhaps the primary reasons Tech pulled off the upset, but so was the team's defense. The Longhorns don't like to shoot the three, but Tech forced them to hoist up 18, which was 32 percent of their shot attempts, and Texas knocked down only four. The Red Raiders effectively doubled down on Longhorn big Cameron Ridley and limited him to an acceptable 12 points on a day when it looked like he might go off.

But ultimately, this game came down to which team would make the winning plays down the stretch. And for the first time since Tech's road win over Oklahoma on Feb. 12, it was the Red Raiders who took charge late in the game.

Matters were looking pretty grim for the home team when, with 9:25 to play, Demarcus Holland's layup gave the Longhorn's a 44-37 lead. But over the next eight minutes and 17 seconds the Red Raiders reasserted their will by outscoring Texas 18-4 to take their own seven-point lead. Crockett scored half of Tech's points in this decisive run.

But in an ugly first half, it was by no means certain that the Red Raiders would have enough firepower to pull this one out.

At the halftime break, Tech had one third as many turnovers (7) as points (21). The Red Raiders were 0-7 from 3-point range, 56 percent from the charity stripe, and had allowed the Longhorns to pull down nine offensive rebounds. Outside of Crockett, no Red Raider had scored more than three points. It was Tech's third-straight opening half where they scored 22 points or less. In other words, the game had the look of yet another tilt where the opposition would run away from Tech and hide in the second half. Instead, Tech flipped the script.

This win repays many debts for the Texas Tech program.

With it, the Red Raiders, who lost both point guards from last year's team and did without a true point guard this season, doubled their regular season Big 12 win total from a year ago. They won their first regular season home finale since 2004. They got their first win over Texas since 2008. The Red Raiders notched six Big 12 wins for the first time since 2008. They won 14 games for the first time since 2010. They gained the upper hand over Texas in the series in Lubbock, staking Tech to a 29-28 edge. And they did all of this before a batch of coveted recruits, and a crowd of 12,429, the fourth straight game with five-figure attendance.

Like the Tech football team's bowl victory over Arizona State, this win could serve as the springboard to a highly productive off-season.

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