LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior Norense Odiasesecured a career-high 13 rebounds in his 92nd career game and Jarrett Culver scored a season-high 21 points to help lead the Red Raiders to a 59-40 non-conference win over Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Texas Tech (3-0) has now won 41 straight non-conference home games and has outscored its first three opponents by a 33.7 scoring margin to begin the season. The Red Raiders have still not trailed in a game this season and are 3-0 for the third straight season under head coach Chris Beard who is also now 22-0 in non-conference home games at Tech.
"The first season, within the season, was this three-game home stand," Beard said. "We are pleased to be 3-0 and are looking forward to getting to Kansas City and having an opportunity to compete for our first championship of the season in the four-team tournament. We didn't play our best game tonight where we had a lot of open shots and just didn't make them and other parts of our game didn't pick us up. Defensively, we were good for the most part, but offensively it wasn't one of our better efforts. You have to give them credit though, they are well-coached and are a good team. They came in here and played hard"
Culver was 8-for-12 from the field with two 3-pointers for his fifth career game over 20 points and just five back of his career-high of 26 last season at West Virginia. The sophomore from Lubbock led the Red Raiders at halftime with 14 points after shooting 5-for-6 from the field, including a jumper with two seconds remaining in the half to give the team the 13-point advantage after 20 minutes. The Red Raiders started the game on an 18-3 run that began on the with a Matt Mooney jumper and grew to 15 on a Culver jumper.
"My teammates got me open and made plays for me," Culver said. "I was just letting the game come to me and being patient like Coach always tells me. I have a lot of confidence in my team. That just comes from our daily work. Everybody's in the gym every day, everybody watches film, and I have a lot of confidence that every game everybody's going to come and play hard."
Odiase, who had a previous career-best of 12 rebounds against Seton Hall last season, now has six games of double-figure rebounding in his career. He would grab nine rebounds in the first half against the Lions who were out-rebounded in the game by a 38-25 margin. Odiase would add six points to his rebounding total, while Davide Moretti went for eight points after hitting two shots and going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Mooney and Culver led the team with four assists each and Deshawn Corprew led the reserves with six points and three rebounds.
Culver is now averaging 16.3 points per game this season, while Mooney leads the team with 16 assists through three games. Tariq Owens added three blocks in the win over SLU and now has 10 on the season.The Red Raiders finished the game shooting only 42.3 percent from the field, but limited the Lions to 26.1 percent and forced 15 turnovers. Tech would lead by as many as 24 points in the game.
Moses Greenwood led the Lions with 13 points and six rebounds, while Parker Edwards hit two 3-pointers and scored 11. SLU, which won the Southland Conference regular-season last year, falls to 1-3 but those losses are to LSU, Nebraska and now the Red Raiders.
The Red Raiders will now travel to Kansas City where it will play Southern Cal on Monday at the Hall of Fame Classic at the Sprint Center. The Red Raiders and Trojans will then play either Nebraska or Missouri State on Tuesday to complete the event. Texas Tech will return home to host Northern Colorado on Saturday, Nov. 24 at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Chris Beard | Texas Tech Head Coach
On his ability to play multiple lineups throughout the game:
"One of the things we have on this team is a lot of different pieces. I think we can play small ball and put five shooters out there, but we're obviously starting two bigs with Norense and Tariq, and we'll even play Malik, Norense and Tariq together and get really big if need be. So tonight, just at different parts of the game and because of the way the game was going, we went with that smaller lineup and it helped us a little bit and we finished the game with Norense cause he was doing such a great job rebounding."
On Davide Moretti's defensive performance:
"Well it's the next step in Moretti's game, you know last year as a substitute player, as a role player, as a guy that's trying to help the team in any way he can, if he has a great night like he did last time out against Mississippi Valley you play him, maybe on a night like tonight where shots aren't going down he doesn't play so much, but that's last year, it's a new day. I mean as we sit here today he's our starting point guard, so he's got to find a level of consistency. I liked his demeanor, I liked his composure, when southeastern was cutting the lead he made some plays to maintain it. You know, the biggest stat for any point guard is wins and losses and we're 3-0 right now."
On Deshawn Corprew's defensive effort:
"Yeah, I like where Corprew is at. He's continuing to get better, he's playing his role. He brings a certain amount of toughness that this team needs. He's a coachable guy. You know, I'm really pulling for him. Got some great coaching and had some success last year at South Plains. We're looking for him to be a big part of the team. Three games in, I think he's getting more comfortable, he's starting to do some things out there, so, you know it's no secret Deshawn is going to be in the rotation all year and he's one of our better players."
On his thoughts about the game against SLU:
"We played nine players in the game basically and only three guys shot 50%. If you're trying to shoot 50% as a team, everyone has to make their shots and tonight only 3 of 9 made their shots. Again, you can't always depend on jump shooting, tonight shots weren't going down and we just got to figure out ways to get to the free throw line more, we've got figure out how to get more offensive baskets as our worse offensive rebounding effort. I'll have to watch the film and try to figure out why. But it's nice to see our defense carry us on a night where we really needed it."
On his mentality on rebounding and playing defense against the Lions:
"Just across the board it's just like every game. I was fortunate enough to corral on this game, so whatever helps the team. We didn't give up many layups, so that was good. We walled up, and early on we didn't do much fouling, so that really helped us early on."
On the first three games of the season:
"Every day is a different struggle, every game and opponents. It's kind of different, but we've been okay we just have to keep getting better as the season keeps going, so that when we come to Big 12 we'll be full up and ready to go. Shots fall some games, shots fall some other games, but tonight they didn't fall for us. We just have to know how to grind it out and get those tough wins in different ways. Keep moving the ball, don't get stagnant and don't settle for three's and get to the free throw line early in each half, so that's what we harped on."
On Southeastern Louisiana…
"They're a great team, they won their league. They're a tough opponent, they have an all conference player and a great coach. They're going to be tough - they have a million plays and it was tough to guard them. He [Coach Beard] knew that they're a great team, so he had us prepared. We did our job and won the game."
Jay Ladner | Southeastern Louisiana Head Coach
Thoughts on tonight's game:
"Great respect for Texas Tech and Coach Beard. I really admired coach from afar and the job he's done. Really everywhere he's been, really hardnosed defense, extremely well coached, well prepared, and held us to 26 percent (field goal percentage). Which had a lot to do with the outcome. Great respect for them we've played a very tough schedule up to this point. We've played LSU, Nebraska, Texas Tech is right there with those two teams. Good, long and well coached. Great respect for them."
On Texas Tech's defense tonight shutting Southeastern down:
"They did that all night, it wasn't just the first six or seven minutes. I thought our guys did a good job, they do such a good job of downing ball screens and keeping you on one side of the floor. I thought our guys did a good job of managing that and getting the basketball to the opposite side. We just really struggled to knock shots down, but they had a lot to do with that, they're very disruptive. They're long, obviously we're very small inside and that type of length hurts us so there's not much of an inside game. Our guards are small as well even though they have some quickness. Anytime we got penetration, one thing we were trying to stress is when we did get penetration to drive and pitch because of the length of Texas Tech. When we did that we still got a good look, didn't knock it down very often. But when we didn't (Texas Tech) did a great job of drawing charges, they do a great job of secondary defenders. A lot of times coming in there and blocking shots, again the difference in tonight's ball game in my opinion, I thought our guys did a good job for us I was proud of our effort, but (Texas Tech) was just too talented, too long, too well coached and prepared. I thought Texas Tech's defensive effort was the difference in the game tonight."
On coaching against Jarrett Culver:
"Outstanding player, big time player. Really his position we knew that was a bad matchup for us. We felt good, we felt we could manage the other positions but that was going to be the position. His play at the end of the first half I thought broke the game open."