Oklahoma State 79, No. 6 Texas Tech 71

Oklahoma State 79, No. 6 Texas Tech 71

STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 6 Texas Tech men's basketball team nearly overcame a 16-point second half deficit before Oklahoma State closed out a 79-71 decision on Wednesday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
 
The Red Raiders (22-6, 10-5 Big 12) were dealt consecutive losses for the second time this season but remained in second place in the Big 12 standings one game behind 13-time defending regular season champion Kansas.
 
The Cowboys (16-12, 6-9 Big 12) built the 16-point advantage on the strength of nine straight field goals to start the second half and secured their fifth win over a Top 25 opponent this season.

"I just want to congratulate Oklahoma State on a good Big 12 win." Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. "I thought they played harder than us tonight and with more emotion. That's really disappointing from our point of view. Also, I know with the weather and all, I was really impressed with the crowd tonight. It doesn't surprise me. I know this is one of the most historic basketball programs in the history of the game. It was really cool to see Coach [Eddie] Sutton here tonight. Of course, Sean [Sutton] has done a great job for us, and I know Scott [Sutton] is doing the same for Mike [Boynton]. I want to recognize the crowd. I thought the student section here was good. We didn't play our best, but I think you have to give Oklahoma State a lot of credit. That's about as bad as we have been whipped at the start of the second half. So, hopefully our team will learn from it." 

Texas Tech had four players register double figures headed by Zhaire Smith's 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Smith tallied 16 of his 18 points and knocked down all six of his shot attempts in the first half.
 
Jarrett Culver tacked on 15 points and six rebounds followed by Niem Stevenson's Big 12 season-high 14 points off the bench. Stevenson also added four assists and four rebounds.
 
Justin Gray registered 10 points, five rebounds and two steals to give himself back-to-back outings in double figures. Tommy Hamilton IV tallied all six of his points after halftime.
 
Keenan Evans finished with two points and played 25 minutes after he missed Saturday's second half at Baylor due to a toe injury.
 
As a team, Texas Tech was 25-for-60 from the field and hit on 9-for-23 on three-pointers. The Red Raiders were 12-for-16 at the free throw line and outrebounded by a slim 31-30 margin.   
 
Oklahoma State countered with a 24-of-46 shooting effort and canned 11-of-22 from three-point territory. The Cowboys also drained 20-of-25 at the charity stripe and scored 20 of the game's 22 points on the fastbreak.
 
Kendell Smith notched a game-high 21 points and handed out six assists. Lindy Waters III tacked on a career-high 18 points ignited by four three-pointers whereas Jeffrey Carroll produced 14 points and six rebounds.
 
The Red Raiders wiped away a six-point deficit over the final five minutes of the opening half to take a 35-34 advantage into halftime.
 
Trailing 29-23 with 4:50 remaining, Culver found a cutting Smith for a layup. Then, Smith showed off his athleticism and soared through the lane for a two-handed jam off an offensive rebound. A pair of Gray free throws knotted the score at 29-29 with 3:54 left.
 
Gray buried a midrange jumper, and Smith finished with a reverse slam off an offensive rebound. Stevenson capped the 12-5 spurt to close the half with a driving layup on the baseline.
 
Oklahoma State ripped off nine consecutive baskets to begin the second half sparked by six treys to go up 59-43 at the 12:43 mark.  
 
The Red Raiders chipped away behind eight straight points of their own and made it 51-43 after a traditional three-point play from Culver with 9:44 to go.
 
Texas Tech got as close as four points on two occasions, the latest was on a Stevenson trey with 67 seconds left on the clock. The Cowboys were an efficient 9-of-12 on free throws over the last 1:58 to wrap up the eight-point win.

"(It's) disappointing," Beard said "our guys want to win. We have a bunch of good guys in that locker room that try really hard. We believe in team basketball. Tonight just wasn't our night. I think you have to give Oklahoma State credit. They're the reason we didn't play our best game. Obviously they have two special players that have been getting it done at the Big 12 level. Tonight, their shooters were the x-factor. If you go 4-for-4 from the 3-point line, and the others guys show up, they have good players. Mike [Boynton] has done a great job with them."
 
UP NEXT 
Texas Tech plays host to the program's second Top 10 matchup at home when No. 8 Kansas visits the United Supermarkets Arena on Saturday. Tip time is slated for 3:15 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN and the ESPN app. Saturday's game is a "Black Out," and fans are encouraged to wear black.     
 
ESPN's College GameDay Covered by State Farm will be live from the USA from 10-11 a.m. CT.  Admission to GameDay is free. Fans do not need a game ticket to the Kansas game to attend the 60-minute GameDay show. Doors for the GameDay show will open at 8:30 a.m. CT. Seating is not reserved, and fans are asked to use the northwest and southwest entrances.  
 
Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by liking TexasTechMBB on Facebook along with following @TexasTechMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. 

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