Texas Tech took its stifling defense up a notch.
Jarrett Culver scored 19 points, and the 15th-ranked Red Raiders defeated Oklahoma State 78-50 on Wednesday night.
Texas Tech, which entered the game ranked second in Big 12 play in scoring defense and first in field goal percentage defense, improved its numbers. The Red Raiders held Oklahoma State to 23 points in the first 26 minutes. It was the third straight game they held an opponent to 54 or fewer points — all wins.
“We’re really together,” Texas Tech forward Tariq Owens said. “I just feel like we’re really locked in right now.”
Matt Mooney scored 15 points and made all five of his 3-point tries, Owens scored 11 points and Davide Moretti added nine points and eight assists for Texas Tech (20-5, 8-4 Big 12).
Cameron McGriff had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Cowboys (9-15, 2-9), who have lost seven of eight. It was Oklahoma State’s second-largest loss ever at Gallagher-Iba Arena, which opened in 1938.
“They didn’t play a flawless game, but it was pretty close, especially on the defensive end,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said of the Red Raiders. “We didn’t have an answer for them. We were outplayed in every facet of the game. Texas Tech thoroughly dominated us.”
Oklahoma State captain Lindy Waters said the Cowboys weren’t ready.
“We just didn’t prepare the right way,” Waters said. “We didn’t come in to the game with the mentality we should have. That’s on the captains. Today’s shootaround, we just weren’t locked in, just forgetting plays, not executing, just small things.”
Texas Tech shot 9 for 14 from 3-point range in the first half to take a 44-23 lead at the break. Mooney made all four of his 3s and scored 12 points in the first half.
McGriff had 11 points in the first half for Oklahoma State on 4-for-8 shooting, but the rest of the team scored 12 points on 5-for-19 shooting.
Texas Tech erased any doubts by holding Oklahoma State scoreless for the first six minutes of the second half.
The Red Raiders made 12 of 25 3-pointers for the night.
“Obviously, you can’t count on making shots like we did tonight, but our guys do put a lot of time in, and from time to time, we’re going to have one of these nights,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said.
The Red Raiders positioned themselves to make Saturday’s game against Baylor more meaningful. Tech and Baylor are chasing Kansas State in the Big 12 title race, and they both have a chance.
The Red Raiders were not supposed to be challenged here, and they weren’t. Some teams slip in these types of games, but Texas Tech dominated from the start.
Oklahoma State has been scrappy enough to stay in many of its games, but this time, the Cowboys simply didn’t have the manpower. Oklahoma State shot just 37 percent from the floor and 25 percent from 3-point range.
Oklahoma State’s roster has been so depleted by players leaving the program or being kicked off the team that the school held tryouts to fill roster spots. One of the players who made the team, former manager Tanner Taylor, took advantage. The walk-on whose name wasn’t even on the back of his jersey made a 3-pointer in the second half, bringing the crowd to its loudest roar of an otherwise disappointing evening.
Three other walk-ons — Dee Mitchell, Gabe Simpson and Cade Simpson — all got action late.
HE SAID IT
McGriff: “Our next game, it will be zero-zero on the scoreboard. We can’t come to the game thinking about the last game. That’s the message we have to relate to the other guys. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us in this league. It’s the most competitive league in the country, so if we come in with the right mentality every night, nobody cares about tonight on Saturday.”
Texas Tech: Hosts Baylor on Saturday.
Oklahoma State: At Texas on Saturday.