No. 20 Texas Tech rallies past Memphis in Miami, 78-67
Jarrett Culver led the Red Raiders with 20 points, six assists and also had six rebounds in the win
MIAMI – Tariq Owens recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds along with setting a new Texas Tech single-game record with eight blocked shots to help the No. 20/19-ranked Red Raiders rally for a 78-67 win over Memphis at the Air Force Reserve Hoop hall Miami Invitational on Saturday at the American Airlines Arena.
The Red Raiders (7-0) trailed 78-67 at halftime and by as many as 13 in the second half before finishing the game on a 27-8 run over the final seven minutes to knocked off the Tigers (3-4). Texas Tech went on a 9-0 run to take its first lead of the second half at 60-59 with 4:35 remaining, capped by Owens layup and a free-throw off an assist from Kyler Edwards assist. Owens had a block on the next possession, got the rebound and then hit two free throws as the Red Raiders took a 62-59 lead that would not be relinquished.
Jarrett Culver led the Red Raiders with 20 points, six assists and also had six rebounds in the win, while Deshawn Corprew added 12 points and five rebounds. Culver had now led the team in scoring in six of seven games, has scored in double-figures in all seven games and has scored 20 or more in four games. Owens, who had six blocks in the season opener against Incarnate Word, set a new TTU record that had previously been held by Will Flemons had seven against Texas A&M in 1990 and also the first double-double for Texas Tech this season.
"We just picked it up as a team," Owens said. "Our team defense was better and we just locked in as a collective unit."
Brandone Francis would add 10 points after going 2-for-3 on 3-pointers in the second half and Edwards would go for nine points and two assists. Matt Mooney finished with eight points, three assists and three rebounds for the Red Raiders who shot 49.1 percent from the field and went 22-for-30 from the free-throw line. Corprew, who was one point away from his season-high in scoring went on a 6-0 run of his own in the second half, hitting a jumper, two free throws and then a layup to cut the deficit to 57-51 with 8:11 remaining.
"Coach is always on us about playing it to the bone," Culver said. "We play a full 40 minutes and fight until the end. We all buy into that and are always going to fight until the end. I feel like this team has a lot of heart."
Texas Tech hit 16 of its 22 free throws in the second half, including Culver hitting six in his 20-point performance. The 22 free throws matched the 22 the team made in its comeback win over Southern Cal and the team has still won all of its games this season by double-digits with Edwards knocking down a layup with 31 seconds remaining for the 11-point win.
"I thought above everything, we just stayed the course," Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. "On a night when some teams could say it's not our night, we just stayed the course. We knew we couldn't get it all back at once so we broke the game into little three and four minute games."
Tyler Harris led Memphis with 17 points, while Kyvon Davenport added 13 points and four rebounds. The Tigers finished the game shooting 3-for-15 on 3-pointers and were 18-for-28 from the free-throw line.
Texas Tech trailed by the nine-point halftime deficit after shooting going 2-for-8 on 3-pointers and committing 10 turnovers. It was only their second time trailing at halftime this season and came with the team going 10-for-25 from the field and the Tigers shooting 12-for-35. Owens and Culver led the Red Raiders with six points each at halftime with Owens scoring four of his six on dunks. Culver was limited to 2-for-6 shooting in the first half and also had two assists. Owens led the team with six rebounds in the opening and also had one blocked shot. Memphis, which led by as many as 11 in the first half, was led by Tyler Harris who had 13 points with three 3-pointers. The Tigers built their first-half lead by going 10-for-11 at the free-throw line while the Red Raiders were 6-for-11 at the line. The 37 points scored by Memphis were the most by an opponent in the first half this season against Tech.
Texas Tech will begin a three-game home stand on Wednesday when the Red Raiders welcome Arkansas-Pine Bluff to the United Supermarkets Arena. TTU is on a 42-game home non-conference winning streak going into the 6:30 p.m. game and is 4-0 at home this season.