Tech (7-15, 0-10 Big 12) entered the contest winless in the Big 12, and left the Frank Erwin Center the same way after shooting just 28.1 percent in the first half and getting pounded 41-25 on the boards. The Red Raiders were out-rebounded on their own defensive glass, with Texas (14-9, 4-6) grabbing 16 offensive rebounds to the Red Raiders' 15 defensive boards.
Texas also owned a huge advantage at the free throw line, making 25-of-31 freebies to 9-of-14 by Tech.
Well, in the first half, I thought we played a really good half of basketball," said Texas coach Rick Barnes. "I thought we did some things that we've talked about and worked on. Defensively, I thought we really did a nice job. I thought the first four minutes of the second half, we were really good and then from that point on, we let down defensively and Texas Tech played extremely hard from start-to-finish.
"They went through a period where I think they scored three, four, five times in a row," Barnes said. "We came down and weren't as good as we needed to be on the offensive end. This is a time of year where it's a game of habit and we've got to continue developing that. When we got a lead, you could just tell that we started playing at a pace and almost with no purpose. I told our team, for what we worked on in the last week, that's what we can't do."
The Longhorns jumped out to a quick lead and were never truly challenged. Texas scored the game's first seven points en route to a 17-4 game-opening run that saw Sheldon McClellan start 3-of-4.
"That's something I wanted to come out and do today," McClellan said. "The last few games I haven't been too aggressive, so I wanted to come out and be more aggressive. I think I did that."
The Red Raiders climbed back to within nine at 19-10 before Alexis Wangmene hit a pair of free throws. Tech was never within single digits the rest of the game.
The Longhorns built their biggest lead, a 25-point advantage, at 62-37 with nine minutes left, and though the Red Raiders twice sliced that lead to 15 points, they came no closer.
Clint Chapman set career highs in points (20) and free throws made (eight). He tied his career-high in blocks with five, and grabbed nine rebounds. He's made 26 of his last 27 free throws. McClellan's 17 points in 23 minutes came on 7-of-11 shooting. J'Covan Brown wasn't great from the field, but scored 17 points thanks in part of a 7-of-8 night from the free throw line.
"One thing that was good tonight was the more balanced shot selection," Barnes said. "J'Covan (Brown) had 13, Sheldon (McClellan) had 11 and Clint (Chapman) had 10. I thought that Julien Lewis played with a heavy heart. He literally got off the plane an hour before the game and he walked in here. He wasn't at shootaround today. He lost a dear member of his family. He really fought through it and did a good job. Again, we just have to keep talking about consistency."
After three-straight Big 12 losses, Texas has won two of its last four. In those seven games, the five losses have come by an average of 4.8 points. The Longhorns will travel to College Station on Monday to take on Texas A&M at 8 p.m.