LUBBOCK — A national TV audience. The Trae Young Show in the house. Eleven lead changes and 17 ties.
Nothing seems to phase the Texas Tech Red Raiders men’s basketball team these days.
Texas Tech delighted a sell out crowd of 15,098 - a legit number in attendance with a smattering of empty seats - Tuesday night proving its No. 7-ranking true in dropping No. 23 ranked Oklahoma 88-78 in a Big 12 men’s game at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Tech (22-4 overall, 10-3 in the Big 12) made the key run of the game late outscoring OU 17-7 over the final 3:21, the key basket a 3-pointer in the corner by Niem Stevenson for a 79-71 lead OU never recovered from.
“Texas Tech made play down the stretch and that was the difference,” said OU coach Lon Kruger, his team dropping to 16-9 overall and 6-7 in conference.
Stevenson and center Norense Odiase were praised heavily for their effort, along with the noisy sell-out crowd, by Texas Tech second year coach Chris Beard.
Stevenson finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Odiase put up 14 points and five rebounds.
“This was a real homecourt advantage for us,” Beard said. “There were great fans and we had the students camping out all night and waiting in line all day to get in. … obviously a big win in the Big 12 they are all big. But this one especially since we have so much respect for Oklahoma and Coach Kruger and his players. I thought it was a gutsy game and we knew it was going to be a 40-minute game with Oklahoma.”
Adding to Tech’s strong night was the continued excellent play of senior Keenan Evans who scored a game-high 26 points.
This much-anticipated game was partly due to OU freshman sensation Young being in Lubbock. Young, the son of former Pampa High and Texas Tech star Rayford Young, leads the nation in scoring and assists.
Young was booed every time he touched the ball and heard a profanity-laced chant from the Tech student section in the second half.
Young struggled from the field going 4-of-16 from the floor, but did make all 11 free throws he shot finishing with l9 points.
Young was asked about the crowd’s reaction and he said “I get that everywhere I go so it was nothing new.”
OU was led by Christian James’ 23 points.
Tech’s 10-3 record as it atop the Big 12, a game ahead of second-place Kansas (9-4).