Oklahoma-Texas Tech Preview
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith says his players don’t know how to shoot.
The Big 12’s worst shooting team probably won’t cure those woes Saturday against a defensive-minded squad that handed Smith his most humiliating defeat less than a month ago.
No. 17 Oklahoma has won six of its last seven and will be favored to send the last-place Red Raiders to a fifth straight loss.
Texas Tech (12-15, 2-12) is last in the conference in field-goal percentage (39.4) and 3-point shooting (30.0), and it’s connected at 33.2 percent from the field while averaging 44.8 points in this slide. The Red Raiders shot 35.4 percent in Tuesday’s 54-49 home defeat to No. 20 Baylor.
Smith admitted afterward that his players’ mechanics could use some tweaking.
”Just get in the gym and shoot more,” he said. ”Unfortunately, it seems like each guy has something they have to change in their shot. It’s going to take some time to do it.”
Unfortunately, Oklahoma (18-8, 9-5) is up next.
The Sooners, second in the Big 12 in defensive field-goal percentage at 37.3, cruised in the last meeting 81-36 at home Jan. 28. It marked the fewest points allowed by anyone in a Big 12 game and the fewest by the Red Raiders since a 37-33 defeat at Oklahoma City on Dec. 11, 1950.
Smith called his worst-ever loss "demoralizing," as Texas Tech shot a season-low 21.2 percent. The Red Raiders trailed by 21 at the half before taking 8:02 to register their first basket of the second half.
The rout featured an astounding 31-1 run by the Sooners bridging both halves that expanded their advantage to 57-17 with 13:23 to go.
Oklahoma yielded its lowest shooting percentage since limiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff to 20.5 percent in a 94-24 win Dec. 2, 2003.
The Sooners emphatically avenged a 68-60 home loss to the Red Raiders the season before in which star guard Buddy Hield made 1 of 13 shots for three points.
The conference’s leading scorer suffered through another rough effort Tuesday as he made 4 of 17 shots for 12 points in a 71-69 win over visiting Texas. Hield averages 17.2 points and is third in the Big 12 in field-goal percentage at 43.5.
"Even when I’m struggling, every shot I take I think I’m going to make it," he said. "I don’t care how many I miss."
Reserves Frank Booker and Dinjiyl Walker each scored 10 points. Oklahoma’s bench ranks second-worst in the Big 12 with 12.8 points per game.
Booker has 29 points in his last three games while Walker had gone scoreless in six of his past eight.
"We keep asking for bench production and keep talking to Dinjiyl and Frank," coach Lon Kruger said. "Frank has been doing a good job the past couple games. He has been stepping up and making shots and scoring points for us. Dinjiyl is doing that now."
Ryan Spangler has been held to 15 points over his last two games. He scored a game-high 20 on 8-of-9 shooting in the first matchup with Texas Tech, and Hield chipped in with 15.
The Sooners have captured four of the last five meetings, including the past two in Lubbock.