Arizona takes care of Texas Tech on the road, 85-57
The location may have been different, but the result was just the same for the No. 9 Arizona men’s basketball team as it won its fourth straight game by more than 20, beating Texas Tech 85-57 at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.
Arizona (5-0) started the season with four home games against mid-majors, but its first road test didn’t cause any trouble. The Wildcats handled the Red Raider’s quick pace and kept the nation’s top scoring offense in check all night.
Texas Tech (4-1) entered the game scoring 88.8 points per game, the best mark in country, on 47.6 percent shooting. But after a fast start that had the game tied 11-11 early, the Wildcats locked down the Red Raiders on way to another rout. Texas Tech finished well below its season average, shooting 22-for-63 on the night, including 6-for-21 from three.
Sophomore guard Nick Johnson led the Wildcats with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting and also had five rebounds in the game. Arizona’s real advantage came down low, though, where the Wildcats outrebounded the Red Raiders 41 to 26 and scored 16 more points in the paint.
Freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski made an early turnover in his first road game, but the young big quickly asserted his authority on the glass. The 7-footer grabbed 13 boards in the game, including 10 defensive rebounds, and made up for his two turnovers with two assists.
Arizona’s inexperience on the road was evident during the opening minutes, as the Wildcats turned it over twice in the first 40 seconds. The UA started to adjust to the frantic Texas Tech pace, though, and a 10-2 run gave the Wildcats an early advantage. The Red Raiders cut it back to 21-18 with 10:27 remaining in the first half, but Arizona answered by hitting three straight from deep and it never looked back.
The Wildcats led by as much as 36 in the game and continued their hot shooting, making 30-for-53 in the game. Seniors Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill both had 14 points and freshman forward Brandon Ashley had 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting.
The Red Raiders made a 14-2 run midway through the second half to cut the Wildcat lead to just 13, but Johnson scored four straight points to curb the momentum. Arizona then added nine more points to go on a 13-2 run of its own, effectively putting the game away.
Three of the Red Raiders top four scorers battled with foul trouble all night, especially forwards Dejan Kravic and Jordan Tolbert, who both fouled out. Texas Tech committed 18 personal fouls in the game and gave the Wildcats the opportunity to hit 10 more free throws. Arizona went 17-for-21 from the charity stripe while Texas Tech hit just 7-of-12.
Junior Jaye Crockett, the team’s leading scorer, was the only Red Raider to pass the double-digits mark in scoring with 12 points. Crockett also led his team with six rebounds.
But Texas Tech only recorded seven steals, well below its average of 13.25 – second best in the nation. Its fast defensive pace did force Arizona into 15 turnovers, but the UA’s size down low was just too much for the Red Raiders.