Longhorns Escape Red Raiders

Cameron Ridley made two free throws with 31 seconds left and Jaye Crockett's final shot bounced off as Texas came back in the final minute to defeat Texas Tech 67-64.

In somewhat of a sloppy game between two teams looking to avoid staying 0-3 in the Big 12, Texas looked like it might pull away at multiple points in the second half. But Tech has made its reputation on being a scrappy team, playing a mostly-tight contest with Iowa State before falling to West Virginia in overtime. And the Red Raiders came storming back.

"I wouldn't call it a relief," Texas coach Rick Barnes said of the team's first conference win. "I think we have the best conference in the country. I expected this game to be this way and we made some plays."

Texas led by eight points with 7:49 left and by six at 61-55 with under five minutes left. But Dusty Hannahs hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 61-58, and after Javan Felix made a jumper, Jaye Crockett scored four straight points to slice the advantage to 63-62.

Robert Turner was then fouled by Jonathan Holmes with 1:19 left and made both freebies, putting Tech up 64-63. Felix missed a three on Texas's end, but Crockett missed a jumper on Tech's side.

Felix then tried another three with 33 seconds left, but missed again. Luckily, Ridley was waiting, fighting off other Red Raiders for the offensive rebound and he was fouled. While he was a 33.3 percent free throw shooter just a year ago, Ridley calmly stepped up and made both shots to give Texas a lead.

"(Barnes) has been working with me on my touch from the free throw line and building my confidence," Ridley said. "With all the time I have put in the gym, I'm just trying to get better at that."

That set up Tech's final possession, and the Red Raiders had two shots at it. Jordan Tolbert drove into the paint, but Prince Ibeh swatted his attempt back out. Turner grabbed the loose ball and Texas Tech called another timeout at 8.7 seconds left to set up a final attempt.

Tech tried to call a play for Hannahs, but he was well-defended, leaving Crockett to attempt a shot with Felix's hand in his face. The shot bounced off the rim and Holmes grabbed it, ending Tech's threat.

"Really, I just wanted to contest his shot, and as I turned around I was looking at the ball and hoping it didn't go in," Felix said.

Holmes made two more free throws with less than a second left to ice it.

Isaiah Taylor led the Longhorns with 14 points and four assists and Felix, who scored 12 off the bench. Holmes (9), Ridley, Damarcus Croaker and Ibeh (8) all narrowly missed scoring in double figures. Martez Walker earned the start in the backcourt next to Taylor and Demarcus Holland.

Crockett and Turner paced the Red Raiders with 19 points apiece.

Texas Tech actually held a 33-32 halftime lead after the Red Raiders went to the free throw line 18 times. But Texas made the most of its overall free throw opportunities, sinking 18-of-21 shots (85.7 percent) to 16-of-23 for Texas Tech, and largely kept the Red Raiders off the free throw line in the second half.

"I was pretty upset at halftime because we talked about quit giving people points," Barnes said. "It almost reminded me of an early season game that we were in. We showed a great sense of urgency. We had a great sense of urgency and I don't think we've had that the way we needed to since we came back from Christmas."

The Longhorns also out-rebounded the Red Raiders 32-24 and led in points in the paint, points off turnovers, second-chance points, fast-break points and points off the bench. There were 14 lead changes and six ties in the game.

Texas Tech fell to 8-8 on the season with the loss, including an 0-3 mark in the Big 12.

The Longhorns (12-4, 1-2) have a quick turnaround, with Texas traveling out to Morgantown for a Big Monday showdown with West Virginia. Tip is set for 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU.


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