LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech's run came, but so did Iowa State's response.
The No. 8 Red Raiders were down by as many as 10 before storming back to tie the game at 61 with two minutes remaining only to see the Cyclones answer with two quick baskets that propelled them to a 68-64 win on Wednesday at the United Supermarkets Arena. TTU (15-2, 4-1 Big 12) fell to 10-1 on its home court this season and dropped its first conference game after going 6-for-15 from the free-throw line, while ISU (13-4, 3-2 Big 12) was 13-for-19.
Texas Tech will return to action at 5 p.m. on Saturday against Baylor in Waco. The Bears (10-6, 2-2 Big 12) are coming off a 73-69 win over Oklahoma State on Monday and are 7-3 at the Ferrell Center this season.
Iowa State shot 43.9 percent from the field which was the second-best from an opponent against Texas Tech this season and went the entire first half without a committing a turnover. The two teams would both finish the game with nine turnovers in a game that came down to the free throw difference.
"I want to congratulate Iowa State. They played hard and well," Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. "I told the guys all week in preparation I thought this was one of the best teams in the Big 12 and I will stand by that. You don't beat Kansas by 20 points if you are not really good. They had a game plan and executed and really won the game in the first half. I give our guys some credit in the second half for just coming back and playing with a lot of guts and grit. Really that half time deficit was too much to overcome."
Jarrett Culver recorded his second double-double of the season after going for 20 points and 16 rebounds with his final points coming on a layup with nine seconds remaining to make it a two-point game. The Red Raiders were forced to foul and saw Marial Shayok hit two free throws for his 19th and 20th points that would also be the final margin. Culver's 16 rebounds were a career high and matched the most for a TTU play since Brad Reese had 16 back on Dec. 22, 2010 against UT Arlington. He had 10 points and eight rebounds in the second half, but struggled at the free-throw line where he was 5-for-10.
Davide Moretti added 10 points with two 3-pointers, while Kyler Edwards had nine and Brandone Francis six to lead the reserves. Matt Mooney, who was coming off a season-high 22 last Saturday against Texas, had eight and Tariq Owens finished the game with seven points and three blocks. Norense Odiase pulled down five rebounds and scored four, while freshman Khavon Moore made his Texas Tech debut where he played two minutes after coming onto the court to a loud ovation from the crowd.
Culver is now averaging 18.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, has recorded eight games with 20 or more points and now has two double-digit rebounding performances after his previous career-high of 13 last Tuesday against Oklahoma. His 16 rebounds are the third most by a Red Raider in Big 12 play with Devonne Giles (2004) and Cliff Owens (1998) having 18-rebound performances.
Down eight at halftime, Francis would give the Red Raiders a second-half spark with two early 3-pointers that cut the deficit to seven before a Culver jumper made it a three-point game just five minutes into the second half. ISU continued having answers to thwart Tech runs until the four minute mark when the Red Raider rallied with a 7-0 run that started with three Culver free throws, a Mooney layup and then a Culver layup to tie the game at 61-61 with 1:50 on the clock.
Nick Weiler-Babb would end the run with a jumper and was followed by a Lindell Wigginton layup that gave the Cyclones a four-point lead with a minute to play.
Texas Tech trailed at halftime for the sixth time this season with the 41-33 margin and for the third straight game. Culver led the Red Raiders with 10 points and eight rebounds, while Moretti had seven and Owens, Mooney, Odiase and Edwards each had four points. The Red Raiders were 15-for-32 from the field, but were only 2-for-10 on 3-pointers while the Cyclones shot 45.2 percent and knocked down four 3-pointers and nine free throws.
Shayok led the Cyclones at halftime with 15 points after going 5-for-7 from the field with three 3-pointers, while Jacobson had eight and Wigginton and Horton-Tucker six. ISU was 9-for-12 at the free-throw line at halftime and TTU was only 1-for-2. The Red Raiders started the game 3-for-8 from the field, while the Cyclones were also struggling with a 2-for-8 start from the field.
Coach Chris Beard
"I want to congratulate Iowa State they played hard and well. I told the guys all week in preparation I thought this was one of the best teams in the Big 12 and I will stand by that. You don't beat Kansas by 20 points if you are not really good. They had a game plan and executed and really won the game in the first half. I give our guys some credit in the second half for just coming back and playing with a lot of guts and grit. Really that half time deficit was too much to overcome. I want to congratulate Iowa State they have some veteran players, they made some plays late in the game. I have a lot of respect for their program. I want to recognize the crowd. We don't just do that when we win we do that when we have a good crowd and tonight was a great crowd. We are developing a home court advantage here so I hope all the people that came out tonight will come back and this was another Big 12 close game. We have been on the good end of a few and tonight we have to study and learn from this so congratulations to Iowa State and thank you to all of the people that came out tonight. I thought it was a great atmosphere."
On Iowa State's success:
"From their point of view, they play with great spacing, they have veteran, low turnover players. The three guys that handle the ball for them have incredible assisted turnover ratios so we wanted to make them turn the ball over, but we knew it was not going to be a night where that would be the key to winning. You have to give them a lot of credit for their spacing and ball handling and the way that they attacked us. I did not think we were very aggressive in the first half, the second half I think we came back and caused some turnovers and looked more like Red Raider defense out there, but the first half our guys just weren't aggressive enough."