AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Tech Red Raiders finally got a win the program hadn’t earned in a generation.
Matt Mooney scored 22 points, most of them coming in the second half, and the No. 8 Red Raiders beat Texas 68-62 Saturday for their first win in Austin since 1996.
Back then, both programs were still playing in the old Southwest Conference. Now the Red Raiders are the only team left unbeaten in Big 12 play and looking every bit like a league championship contender.
“We might have mentioned (the losing streak),” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said.
Oh, it came up. Beard even made it sound a wee bit longer, just for emphasis.
“Coach told us it was 30 years,” Mooney said.
Sensing their big chance was at hand, Red Raiders fans packed Texas’ Frank Erwin Center by the thousands and their boisterous chants of “Dee-fense!” and cheers for Texas Tech rallies often drowned out the home fans.
“We’re building something special in Lubbock,” Beard said. “We won’t apologize for it.”
Texas led 30-26 at halftime before Mooney provided the spark the Red Raiders needed with 14 points in the second half. None were bigger than his consecutive 3-pointers for Texas Tech’s first two baskets after halftime. The first one came with a defender in his face and barely beat the shot clock.
Jordan Culver scored 14 points and had seven assists for Texas Tech (15-1, 4-0 Big 12). Texas held the Red Raiders’ leading scorer in check for much of game, but he delivered a big basket after the Longhorns had rallied to tie the game at 48-48 in the second half.
Texas Tech responded with a quick 7-0 run behind a basket from Culver, a 3-pointer by Davide Moretti and a dunk by Norense Odiase.
Texas Tech led 61-51 on Brandone Francis’ 3-pointer with 3:37 left, his only basket of the game. Texas cut the lead to four, but lost a chance to get within one possession in the final minute when Jase Febres threw the ball away on a fast break with a behind the back pass. Febres has started the play with a steal.
“I was trying to be aggressive and draw a foul, they didn’t’ call it and I lost the ball,” Febres said.
Texas Tech made seven of eight free throws over the final 46 seconds to seal the win.
Kerwin Roach II scored 17 for Texas (10-6, 2-2), but had just four points after halftime.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are one of the top defensive teams in the country and turned in another stifling effort against the Longhorns. The Red Raiders forced 14 second-half by the Longhorns. Texas’ 62 points were the most against the Red Raiders in the Big 12 so far.
Texas: The Longhorns got off to a good start in the Big 12 with two straight wins, but have floundered the last two games with poor 3-point shooting. Texas made seven from long-range against TechTexas was 2 of 22 against Oklahoma State. Seven 3-pointers against Texas Tech was much better, but the Longhorns
BATTLE OF THE BIGS
Texas got another good game from freshman Jaxson Hayes, who scored 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting, but he also had four turnovers. Texas Tech’s Tariq Owens scored 12, most of them on dunks on nifty assists from Mooney and Culver. Owens also made two free throws with 17 seconds left put Texas Tech ahead by seven.
Texas starter Dylan Osetkowski scored just two points in 25 minutes and was never a factor on the offensive end against Owens. Jericho Sims, once eyed as a breakout player in the Big 12 this season, came back after missing two games with an ankle injury, but played just two minutes and didn’t put up a shot or grab a rebound.
Texas Tech hosts No. 20 Iowa State on Wednesday
Texas plays at No. 7 Kansas on Monday