Texas Tech balance turns back Incarnate Word
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Justin Gray and Shadell Millinghaus scored 14 points apiece to lead Texas Tech to a 69-48 win over Incarnate Word on Wednesday night.
Zach Smith finished with 13 points and six rebounds for the Red Raiders (6-1) and Keenan Evans added 11 points and five assists.
“I thought tonight, about half our baskets were on assists,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “So, that means we're playing unselfish basketball. I thought we drove the ball well tonight, made enough free throws to win.”
Simi Socks and Jorden Kite scored 12 points apiece for Incarnate Word (2-3), which shot 37 percent from the floor and lost the points off turnover margin 23-9.
Entering the game, Texas Tech had four players averaging double-digit scoring. It continued its varied scoring by matching that total and having eight players score.
The Red Raiders, which outrebounded the Cardinals 36-26, committed 12 turnovers and caused 22 Incarnate Word turnovers.
Texas Tech dominated frontcourt play, scoring 40 points in the paint to Incarnate Word's eight.
“I thought we had a really nice shot chart in terms of where the baskets were coming from other than the 3-point line,” Beard said. “That's an objective of ours.”
Texas Tech jumped out to a 15-4 lead before the Cardinals climbed back into the game, 19-11. Millinghaus had 11 points in the first half, which ended with the Red Raiders up 38-25 as the Cardinals went scoreless for almost five minutes.
After shooting 43 percent in the first half, the Red Raiders, who have shot 53 percent for the season, shot 54 percent in the second half to pull away. They did that despite finishing 1 of 11 behind the 3-point line.
Incarnate Word, which lost to then-ranked No. 21 Texas by five points earlier this season, was within eight points early in the second half before Texas Tech pulled away.
Shawn Johnson entered the game as Incarnate Word's leading scorer with 23 points per game. He was held to six points.
“They bodied him up,” Incarnate Word coach Ken Burmeister said. “He's not the kind of player that can take it off the dribble. He has great athleticism. They boxed him up pretty good.”
Incarnate Word: 2016-17 is the final season in Incarnate Word's transition from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I. Next season, it will be eligible for Southland Conference and NCAA Tournaments.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are playing without standout forwards Norense Odiase and Aaron Ross. Both are rehabbing injuries. In their absence, graduate transfer Anthony Livingston has provided quality frontcourt minutes.
The Red Raiders entered the game first in the Big 12 with a 43.6 3-point percent shooting percentage. Wednesday, they finished 1 for 11 (9.1 percent).
“You're not going to shoot it great every night, but I have a lot of confidence in our shooters,” Beard said. “We've got a lot of guys that put in a lot of time. Between classes. Early morning. At night. I think the 3-point shot is going to be a great weapon for us this year.”
Incarnate Word starts a three-game homestand Sunday when it hosts LIU Brooklyn.
Texas Tech hosts Conference USA-member Rice on Saturday.