Texas Tech pulls away to beat Eastern Kentucky 90-71
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — After facing the first real test of Chris Beard's coaching tenure at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders quickly separated from Eastern Kentucky late in a 90-71 win Saturday behind 20 points and seven rebounds from Shadell Millinghaus.
Justin Gray added 17 points and six rebounds for Texas Tech. Aaron Ross finished with 16 points, including making all 10 of his free throws.
The Red Raiders have started 3-0 for the first time since 2012-13 and have won 22 consecutive home nonconference games.
Asante Gist led Eastern Kentucky with 21 points and three assists. Jayle Babb-Harrison had 14 points and Nick Mayo and Zach Charles scored 13 points apiece.
Early in the first half, the Colonels (1-3) maintained leads of 19-9 and 27-12 before being held scoreless for a 4:56 stretch.
During that cold spell, Texas Tech (3-0) tied the game and finished the first half with a 46-41 lead.
With the game tied 57-57 early in the second half, Texas Tech took a 10-point lead when Eastern Kentucky had a scoring drought that lasted roughly five minutes.
Eastern Kentucky: Two of Eastern Kentucky's standout underclassmen have continued to perform well. Gist, a freshman, started 4 for 5 from 3-point range. Mayo, the Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year last season, had nine second-half points.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have been without standout forward Norense Odiase for the third straight game. In a press conference this week, Beard said the timetable for Odiase's return is roughly four to five weeks. Graduate transfer Anthony Livingston (11 points, six rebounds) has started and provided quality frontcourt minutes.
Eastern Kentucky: Visits Idaho State Tuesday afternoon. In November, Eastern Kentucky faces teams from six states — North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Idaho, Kentucky and Indiana.
Texas Tech: Traveling to Mexico for the Cancun Challenge tournament, which starts Tuesday. It will face Auburn and Purdue or Utah State.