Something has to happen as two undefeated teams, No. 10 Creighton and No. 23 Texas Tech, face off on Monday in the first round of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.
The winner will play either Louisville or No. 9 Arkansas in the second round on Tuesday.
Texas Tech University (3-0) went through their home season opening stand against Northwest State, South Texas and Louisiana Tech.
The Red Raiders have not played since November 14, when they defeated Louisiana Tech 64-55, 15 points behind De’Vion Harmon and Kevin Obanore and 10 points behind Richard “Pop” Isaacs. Texas Tech leads by a whopping 15 points and has never fallen behind.
The Red Raiders took an 8-0 lead, led 32-27 at half-time and pulled away midway through the second half thanks to a 14-1 streak during which Harmon scored nine points.
“Defensively, we were very good early in the game and kind of set the pace,” said Texas Tech coach Mark Adams. “I thought we were ready to play, but we had so many turnovers and started to mess around with the ball instead of just minding our own business.”
The Red Raiders have landed 49% of their shots from the floor this season, compared to just 33.3% for the opposition.
“We have so many young kids on the team and we have to go through this,” Adams added. “Again, I pray for patience and I have to keep that in mind because we got the win and the guys played hard.”
The Bluejays (4-0) kicked off their campaign with wins over St. Thomas, North Dakota, Holy Cross and, most recently, an 80-51 home win over UC Riverside on Thursday . Creighton trailed by a point before closing the first half 16-2. By halftime, the Bluejays were up 14, and halfway through the second half, the Bluejays ended the match on a 15–0 spurt.
Baylor Scheierman led the way with a season-high 17 points, while Trey Alexander, Ryan Kalkbrenner and Arthur Caluma added 12 points to Creighton. Alexander also grabbed a career-high nine rebounds to lead the Bluejays to a 42-31 lead on the boards. Creighton shot 52.5 percent from the field and had just seven assists in the game-winner.
“(Winning UC Riverside) was our best game ever,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “It was the best team we played with. I really thought defensively the last 10 minutes of the first and second half were as good as we played all year. I didn’t know how we would react to UC Riverside. are we getting better? Do we see individual progress and, as a result, collective progress?
Creighton is up 3-1 all-time against Texas Tech, including the last match of the series with an 83-76 overtime win at the 2019 Las Vegas Classic. Four meetings were decided by a total of 13 points.
–Field level media