Photo By Steven Chapman

Texas Tech Looks to Bounce Back Against OU

Texas Tech hosts Oklahoma 6 p.m. (CT) Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock (TX).

Who: Texas Tech (15-7, 3-6) vs. Oklahoma (8-13, 2-7)

Where: Lubbock, Texas, United Supermarkets Arena

When: Saturday, February 4, 6:00 p.m. (CT)


Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network

Notable: Texas Tech has won seven of eight games when Justin Gray has scored in double figures.

Quotable: "First of all from a positive side, we put ourselves in another position on the road in the Big 12 with a chance to win a one-possession game [Texas]. As long as we continue to do that, I believe that there will be great times ahead with the program here. On the negative side, we just have to execute better. On offense, some of the best shots were our best shooters. If I told you before the game Anthony Livingston is going to get a wide-open look, you would take it. We don't want to settle, but we want our best shooters to take shots. We just have to continue to get better."—Chris Beard

For the fourth time in their last six Big 12 games, the Texas Tech Red Raiders will try to take down a conference cellar-dweller. Tech failed in its previous three attempts at this feat, losing by an average of 11 points, with one of those losses coming at home. 

Still, the Red Raiders are 14-1 in the confines of the United Supermarkets Arena, and you’ve got to think lightning won’t strike four times.

But the Oklahoma Sooners, who defeated Texas Tech by nine points earlier this season, certainly won’t make it easy. In perhaps the most remarkable upset in Big 12 play this season, OU went to Morgantown and knocked off then No. 7 West Virginia, so the Sooners are very capable of playing well on the road.

Oklahoma is paced by point guard Jordan Woodard who returned from injury just in time to lace 27 points on the Red Raiders in the earlier clash with Tech. The senior averages 16 points, five rebounds and three assists per game, and also leads the Sooners in steals with 34. 

Freshmen wings Kameron McGusty and Rashard Odomes both average 10 points per contest. Odomes also contributes four rebounds per game, but interestingly enough, has taken only four 3-point shots this season, making none of them. 

Forward Kristian Doolittle leads Oklahoma in rebounds with six per outing, while Kadeem Lattin’s 2.1 blocked shots per game (No. 32 nationally) is tops in that category.

As a unit, Oklahoma’s shooting mirrors its defense. The Sooners and their opponents shoot 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range. OU is also dead even in rebound margin. The Sooners have committed 62 more turnovers than they’ve fashioned assists.

The inside-outside tandem of Zach Smith and Keenan Evans fuels Texas Tech’s attack. Evans’ 14 points per outing is Tech’s best. He is also No. 2 on the roster in assists and steals.

Smith, who continues to blossom in many respects, paces the Red Raiders with eight rebounds per contest and 32 blocked shots. He is Tech’s No. 2 shot blocker all time behind the great Tony Battie. Smith also chips in 13 points per game.

Aaron Ross, whose game has been hit-and-miss of late, is No. 7 nationally in free throw shooting percentage at 92, and his 47-percent 3-point shooting percentage would also be No. 7 if he had taken enough shots to qualify.

The Red Raiders shoot the ball at a 49-percent clip, are plus-four in rebounding margin, and have 85 more assists than turnovers. 

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