Longhorns stampede over Red Raiders
By BETSY BLANEY
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Texas coach Rick Barnes talked plenty about rebounding since his 12th-ranked Longhorns lost to No. 10 Connecticut last weekend.
The Longhorns came out and hammered the boards in their 83-52 victory over Texas Tech on Tuesday night, finishing with a 42-23 advantage.
UConn outrebounded Texas 52-42 in the 82-81 overtime loss.
"We know what we did wrong," Barnes said. "We wanted to rebound better tonight, which we did. We got our guards back down there involved early and that led to some transition baskets for us."
The win was the largest margin of victory for Texas ever in Lubbock and the worst loss for Texas Tech in United Spirit Arena, which opened in 1999. The last time the Red Raiders lost at home by more an 89-56 loss to Oklahoma in February 1998.
Freshman Tristan Thompson scored 20 points to lead the Longhorns, who kept the pace quick all game.
"Offensively, we do want to run," Barnes said. "There's no doubt about it. We're fast. We can run. Tristan and our post guys really did a good job sealing inside and opening up some driving lanes. And he did. He was good pushing the ball. Then I thought we got into a pretty good rhythm where we were executing things and we wanted to play inside-out and we played well."
Thompson, playing in his first Big 12 game, listened well to Barnes after Saturday's home loss to UConn.
"Everyone saw that we got outrebounded and it cost us the game," Thompson said. "So tonight we wanted to make sure that what UConn did to us we wanted to do it to Texas Tech and outrebound them and I think we did."
Jordan Hamilton added 16 points and Cory Joseph had 15 for the Longhorns (13-3, 1-0).
Texas got the ball inside with ease, scoring 50 points in the paint. The Longhorns were all over Texas Tech's basket as well, pulling down rebounds off the Red Raiders' many misses.
Texas pulled away midway through the first half and Texas Tech (8-9, 0-2) was unable to counter the Longhorns offense.
The Longhorns came into the game ranked fifth in the nation in field goal defense and easily continued that trend. They held the Red Raiders to 23 field goals on 59 attempts. It was the third-worst shooting performance -- 39 percent -- by Texas Tech this season.
The Longhorns outscored Texas Tech 24-9 in the first 10 minutes of the second half for a 62-31 lead.
Robert Lewandowski scored 13 points and Javarez Willis added 10 for Texas Tech.
For a third straight season, the Red Raiders have lost their first two Big 12 games. They have lost nine straight in Big 12 regular season play dating to last season.
As the Longhorns continued to drive the basket through the second half, the Red Raider seniors continued to crumble. The five players hit only 4 of 17 shots in the second half for 11 points. The group went 10 of 35 for the game and scored 25 points.
Texas used a 20-6 run over about 9 minutes to pull away to a 38-22 halftime lead. The Longhorns pounded the ball inside consistently, giving Hamilton and Gary Johnson easy baskets. Texas got 22 points in the paint in the first half and the team hit 14 of 27 shots (52 percent).
"I'll tell you what they did tonight as well as they've done all year is that they really talked and helped each other defensively which was important against them," Barnes said. "I do think the communication was good."
Texas Tech shot poorly again, and there were always more Longhorns under the basket to pull down rebounds. Texas Tech hit 10 of 28 shots, or about 36 percent, for the half. Mike Singletary (13.7 points per game) took just three shots; he hit only one. He spent about 8 minutes on the bench after picking up two quick fouls.
Red Raiders coach Pat Knight said the Longhorns' defense and his team's poor shooting made for a tough night.
"I think you've got to say a little of both," Knight said. "If you look at the stats, we still get six more shots. We're just not shooting the ball very well at all. We've tried to slow it down a little bit to compensate for that and that hasn't helped. But you have to give them credit too. That's a heck of a team."
In the Red Raiders' 71-59 loss to Baylor on Saturday, they shot 36 percent, their second-worst shooting performance of the season.