Esmir Rizvic, the highly anticipated 7-foot transfer from Gulf Coast Community College, was 2-3 from the field for 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 blocked shot in 13 minutes of play. It will be very exciting to see him improve and develop over the course of the season.
Gardner-Webb posted a record of (17-12) last season, finishing 4th in the Atlantic Sun Conference. They lost six seniors and four starters from last year's team. The only returning starter is Chris Gash (6'4, 220) who averaged 10 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. In recent seasons, Gardner-Webb has played well against teams from major conferences and will be determined to continue that trend.
Keys to the game:
#1 – Defense, Defense, Defense. Defend the three-point shot. SHSU attempted 18 three pointers and thankfully only made 5 of them for 27.8%. Continue to cause defensive turnovers and limit offensive turnovers. Tech did a great job with 11 steals out of the Bearkat's 22 turnovers.
#2 – Crash the boards hard. Sam Houston out-rebounded Tech 39-34.
This marks the initial meeting between Texas Tech and Gardner-Webb. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU at 9:00pm CST.
The winners of Monday's first round games will play at 9:00pm on Tuesday night on ESPNU and the losers will play in the consolation game at 6:00pm CST with no television broadcast.