FORT WORTH, Texas — Jarett Culver and Davide Moretti each had 15 points and No. 11 Texas Tech won its seventh game in row, beating TCU 81-66 on Saturday to stay atop the Big 12 standings.
Tariq Owens had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Red Raiders (24-5, 12-4), who took control with a 24-5 run in the first half and withstood TCU (18-11, 6-10) scoring the first 10 points after halftime. Deshawn Corprew also had 12 points, and Matt Mooney added 11.
The Red Raiders surpassed their school record of 11 Big 12 wins set last season when they were the league runner-up and went to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in school history.
Texas Tech began the day tied with No. 16 Kansas State for the Big 12 lead. The Wildcats were home Saturday night against Baylor. No. 15 Kansas (22-7, 11-5), the 14-time defending conference champ, won at Oklahoma State earlier in the day to stay within a game of the lead with two regular-season games left.
JD Miller had 18 points to lead TCU, while Alex Robinson had 17 and Kouat Noi 15.
Culver, the reigning Big 12 player of the week, assisted on three consecutive baskets before his steal that led to the final field goal in an 11-0 run for the Red Raiders midway through the first half. That started the longer 25-4 spurt that pushed them ahead by 23.
After assisting on a 3-pointer by Corprew, Culver passed across the court to Brandone Francis for a long jumper. Culver than had a steal and shared a couple of passes before Francis scored on a breakaway layup. Another steal by Culver led to another layup by Francis that made it 22-9.
TCU was within 43-35 when Robinson drove for a reverse layup, capping that 10-0 run to start the second half.
When the Frogs closed the gap to seven points, the slimmest after the break, Tech scored eight quick points — Corprew had a 3-poitner and a layup before Mooney hit a 3.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders had a double-digit halftime lead for the eighth time in their last nine games, and the 43-25 lead at TCU was plenty. Tech had plenty of support from red-clad fans who were often louder than the TCU fans.
TCU: The fourth loss in five games certainly doesn’t help TCU’s chances of going to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row after ending a two-decade drought last season. … The Horned Frogs will have a losing record in Big 12 play for the sixth time in seven years since joining the league. They were a program-best 9-9 last season.