The most interesting thing to emerge from Texas Tech’s 86-54 loss to Kansas is the revelation that Jayhawk forward Perry Ellis looks 20 years older than ESPN color commentator Reid Gettys. And with the way Tech (10-6, 0-3) played, the Red Raiders could have used some help from the 51-year-old “Phi Slama Jama” guard.
All kidding aside, this game was over before it began. The Jayhawks (13-2, 2-0) took the lead on an Ellis free throw at the 18:37 mark of the first half and accelerated away from the visitors the rest of the way.
Kansas took its first double-digit lead on a Cliff Alexander dunk, which made the score 18-7 with 10:32 remaining in the half.
A Kelly Oubre, Jr. dunk at the 4-minute mark extended the lead to 21 points.
The Red Raiders actually played their least bad basketball over those final four minutes as Tech outscored the Jayhawks by three points during that stretch and went to the locker room trailing 42-25. Whereas it appeared as though KU would lead by nearly 30 at the break, the 17-point deficit actually looked pretty rosy.
But the Jayhawks wasted no time taking the bloom right off that rose in the second half. Kansas, which connected on half of its 3-point attempts, scored the first 11 points, nine of which came on trifectas.
An Isaiah Manderson jumper with 15:59 to play briefly stemmed the tide, but when Alexander threw home another dunk at the 11:49 mark, it sent Kansas to a 30-point lead.
KU’s maximum lead was 38 points, and it came on a Brannen Greene 3-ball with 3:18 remaining.
Pinpointing Tech’s difficulties is hard to do because there were so many. Chief among them, however, may have been the inability to initiate half-court sets. Kansas trapped the Tech ball-handler at the top of the key, and when this did not produce a turnover, it threw the Red Raiders totally out of kilter. The trapping and the physicality of KU’s guards was more than Tech could handle.
Then, too, there was the inability to hit open jumpers, a problem that has bedeviled Tech the entire season. In the first minute and 40 seconds of the game, Devaugntah Williams, Toddrick Gotcher and Robert Turner missed wide-open jump shots. Williams and Gotcher would go on to shoot a combined 1-of-11 from the field.
Free throw shooting was again atrocious. The Red Raiders couldn't make a basket, but they did parade to the free throw line plenty. Tech shot 25 free throws but only hit 52 percent of them. For the Red Raiders to stay close to Kansas in Lawrence, they were going to have to play nearly perfectly. The inability to make simple free throws was alone enough to ensure another humiliating rout.
The only real positives for Tech were the surprising play of Justin Jamison and Manderson. Jamison, who logged 21 minutes, was the only Red Raider to score in double figures. He tallied 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, and pulled down five boards. Jamison looked like the most skilled player on the floor for Tech.
Manderson played aggressively and courageously, one of the few Red Raiders to do so. He also scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, and collected three rebounds.
Tech will hope to do better when they take on Kansas State (8-7, 1-1) on January 14 in Manhattan, Kansas.
Hapless Red Raiders Drop Another in Lawrence
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