AMES, Iowa — No. 18 Texas Tech started hot and did not slow down Saturday, playing its best basketball of the season in a 91-64 drubbing of Iowa State.
The Red Raiders got a little bit of everything in the win. Tyreek Smith flew in for a putback dunk for Tech’s third field goal of the game, the normally quiet Jamarius Burton chipped in a couple of buckets, and Kyler Edwards shot the lights out.
The junior led Texas Tech in scoring with 19, knocking down three 3-pointers in the first half and breaking out a baseline fadeaway that would make Kobe Bryant proud.
Edwards and Mac McClung scored two buckets each as part of a 12-0 first half run that extended Texas Tech’s lead to 18 points.
Kevin McCullar played his best game since missing the start of the season with an injury, recording his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. McCullar hobbled off the court at one point, but would later return.
“We’re just getting started with Kevin McCullar, guys. He’s just scratching the surface,” Beard said. “I thought he played well tonight but there’s gonna be a night sooner than later where he plays on a whole other level.”
Terrence Shannon played another good game, but not in the way he typically does. Usually a score-first player, Shannon piled up six assists on the afternoon, approaching his season total of 10 coming into the game.
The Red Raider offense was a well-oiled machine throughout, producing good looks seemingly each time down the court. They shot 58.9 percent from the field for the game.
“Tonight, we got a lot of great shots,” Chris Beard said. “We had a high 15 assists. We can be even better than that, but it was good to see guys sharing the ball.”
While Texas Tech played a clean game, Iowa State was sloppy offensively, routinely having passes knocked away and dribbles disrupted. The Cyclones do not have a pure point guard, and the Red Raiders hounded their ball handlers to the tune of eight combined turnovers by starting guards Jalen Coleman-Lands and Rasir Bolton.
As a whole, Iowa State turned it over 15 times and Texas Tech converted those into 24 points.
“We’re putting an emphasis on our transition offense,” Edwards said. “We’ve been trying to push the ball, and then in our half court offense we’re trying to move the ball as much as we can, play motion offense.”
It was Texas Tech’s first game since former McDonald’s All-American freshman Nimari Burnett left the program. The Red Raiders did not miss Burnett on the court and were unbothered by the noise his move created off of it, putting forth their best outing of the season.
Four players scored in double figures in the win, and the Red Raiders showed just how dangerous their team can be when everyone is going at once.