Williams’ 22 points help Texas Tech upset No. 9 Iowa State
Texas Tech noticed that Iowa State players weren’t making it around Red Raiders’ screens, so they started putting up 3-pointers.
The Red Raiders hit 11 from behind the arc to earn their first Big 12 win, 78-73, on Saturday.
”We didn’t plan on shooting it,” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. ”Shoot them when you’re open, and we were open because of the way they were defendng us.”
Devaugntah Williams scored a career-high 22 points and Toddrick Gotcher added 17 to lead Texas Tech.
Fans swarmed the court after the victory.
Gotcher made five of Texas Tech’s 11 3-pointers, tying the team’s high for the season. Williams, a junior transfer, added three 3s.
The Red Raiders (11-9, 1-6) led most of the way and were up 74-68 when Iowa State’s Georges Niang tossed in a desperation 3-pointer from the corner with 43 seconds remaining.
Gotcher and Williams each hit two free throws to help keep Texas Tech ahead.
Monte Morris scored 20 points and Matt Thomas added 12 for the Cyclones (14-4, 4-2).
The onslaught of 3-pointers wore down the Cyclones, who started slowly.
”We came out here lackadaisical,” Morris said. ”In this league, you’re not going to beat anybody like that. Everything they threw up was going in.”
The win for the Texas Tech was the first over a top 10 team since March 2009 when they beat ninth-ranked Kansas.
Red Raiders senior guard Robert Turner had a career-high 10 rebounds and Jameel McKay also had a career-high 10 boards for the Cyclones.
The Red Raiders got 30 points from their bench, and the Cyclones got that many in the paint – most of those late in the game.
Cyclones leading scorer, Georges Niang, was benched a couple of times in the first half, as the Cyclones seemed to be searching for energy.
Iowa State cut the lead to six points twice in the second half but after the second time, the Red Raiders went on an 8-0 run. And they kept hitting 3-pointers. The Cyclones pulled within three points in the games closing minutes.
The 11 3-pointers matched what the Red Raiders got in a win over South Carolina in nonconference play this season.
The Cyclones dug a hole for themselves early in the first half, allowing the Red Raiders to shoot plenty from beyond the arc. Texas Tech made 7 of 14 3-pointers – four of those by Toddrick Gotcher – while Iowa State hit just 3 of 14 3-pointers.
Iowa State trailed by 19 twice in the first half but ended on a 6-0 run on back-to-back 3s by Matt Thomas to pull within 36-25 at the break.
It was the lowest first-half total for Iowa State this season. The Cyclones got 26 first-half points at home against Oklahoma State.
Texas Tech freshman Justin Gray is having surgery Monday on his left knee. He’s been struggling with tendinitis in both knees all season. Red Raiders freshman center Norense Odiase was out with the flu Saturday.
Iowa State: The Cyclones lost some ground at having a shot at another Big 12 regular season title. They’ve won it twice since the league began in 1996, and were leading the conference before Saturday’s loss followiing a recent win over Kansas, which has won or shared the regular season title 14 times.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders were looking for a little intervention or redemption Saturday, having started Big 12 without a win through six games. It was the first 0-6 start in conference for a Tubby Smith-coached team in his 24 seasons as a head coach.
Iowa State plays host to Texas on Monday
Texas Tech travels to Oklahoma on Wednesday