Houston Blows Out Texas Tech In Big 12 Tournament Semifinal

Heartland College Sports – An Independent Big 12 Today Blog

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Houston Cougars continued to dominate, beating the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 82-59, in the semifinals of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament at T-Mobile Center on Friday.

Houston (30-3) will play the winner of the Baylor-Iowa State game in the Big 12 Tournament championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday.

 

Texas Tech (23-10) will wait for their seeding for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. It will be their first NCAA Tournament appearance under coach Grant McCasland and a return to March Madness after a one-year absence.

In their only meeting in Big 12 action, Houston won at home, 77-54. The Red Raiders did everything possible to make sure the game didn’t get away from them, and they had to do it without Darrion Williams, who was held out of the game as a precaution after he suffered an injury in the quarterfinals. Chance McMillian started in his place.

Thanks to a huge run at the end of the first half, the Red Raiders were down just three points at the break and tied the game three minutes in on a Pop Isaacs 3-point play. But, Houston broke the tie on the next possession with Emanuel Sharp’s 3-pointer.

Then everything went downhill for Texas Tech.

Houston blew past Texas Tech with a 14-1 run in three and a half minutes to build a 51-38 lead with 13:56 left that prompted a time out by the Red Raiders. Inside that run was an 11-0 Houston run, the Cougars’ second such run of the game.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech missed four straight field goals and turned it over three times. Just as quickly as the Red Raiders nearly had the lead, they were down double digits.

By the 11:28 mark, Houston had a 19-point lead, 57-38, and had outscored Texas Tech 20-1. At that point, the game belonged to the Cougars.

The guards led the way for Houston — L.J. Cryer had 20 points, Emanuel Sharp had 17 points and Jamal Shead had 12 points. Shead also had 10 assists. Ja’Vier Francis added 12 points and nine rebounds.

Houston forced Texas Tech in to 19 turnover and turned those mistakes into 26 points.

 

Texas Tech shot 33 from the field and struggled to create offense in the second half. McMillian led the Red Raiders with 15 points while Joe Toussaint and Eemeli Yalaho added 10 points each.

It didn’t look good for Texas Tech in the first 10 minutes, even as Houston briefly lost forward J’Wan Roberts to an injury. He later returned, but he was definitely hindered by the injury and only played seven minutes.

While he was gone the Cougars built a 16-point lead, 21-5, based on a 14-1 run in less than five minutes while Texas Tech missed 11 straight shots, committed four turnovers and went more than five minutes without a point.

This being the Big 12, the script flipped. Down by as much as 15 with 5:55 left, the Red Raiders went on a huge run, scoring 13 straight points in less than three minutes to cut the lead two points, 27-25, with 2:12 left in the first half.

Houston did enough to maintain the lead but were up just 32-29 at the break. While Cryer led Houston with nine points, McMillian led the Red Raiders with 10 points.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.