The Red Raiders (8-3) travel to Little Rock, AR to take on
the Arkansas Razorbacks (8-1) on Saturday afternoon at Alltel Arena. Texas Tech is coming off a decisive win against Centenary last Saturday in Lubbock,
98-64. Jarrius Jackson led the team in scoring with 25 points while Charlie
Burgess had a very impressive game, going 9-9 for 20 points. The win gave Coach
Knight his 877th career victory, just two shy of tying the all-time
wins leader, Dean Smith.
Tech went 3-1 over their last four road games, already surpassing last season's road wins total. The team recorded wins at the University of Texas-El Paso, Texas Christian, and Louisiana Tech. The loss came to a well-stacked Stanford team in the Pete Newell Challenge in San Jose, CA.
A Red Raider victory in Little Rock will help give this team the confidence and momentum needed to win out the rest of their non-conference games, which are all at home in the comfort of the United Spirit Arena. Those games include: Bucknell on 12/23, University of Las Vegas on 12/28, and New Mexico on New Year's Day.
Arkansas finished last season with a record of (22-10, 10-6) and a trip to the Big Dance where they lost in the first round to Bucknell, 59-55.
Newcomer Guard Patrick Beverley is leading the team in scoring this season, averaging 12.4 points per game. Right behind him is another newcomer, Forward Sonny Weems, who is contributing 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. The Razorbacks cruised to an easy victory over Oakland, Michigan at home on Thursday night, 91-57. Beverly scored 19 points in the contest.
Keys to the Game
-Rebounding. Get more aggressive and grab those boards. Settle for nothing less than out-rebounding the Razorbacks, offensively and defensively.
-Free Throw Shooting. Free throws become very critical as the game
wears down. The Red Raiders shot 70% against Centenary and 75% against
-Three-point Shooting. Tech is currently 2nd in the nation in 3-point shooting at 47.8%. Nailing these shots will help us make up for the lack of inside presence we sometimes have, but we should not rely on this shot too much.
-Charlie Burgess. When Charlie Burgess has a good game, the whole team has a good game. More scoring from last season's Junior College Player of the Year takes the pressure off of Jay Jackson and Martin Zeno to score most of the points.
Last year, Tech lost to Arkansas 78-65 at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Red Raider Christmas Classic in Dallas. Texas Tech leads the all-time series 39-37, but Arkansas has won the last 5 games between the teams.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.