FRISCO, Texas — No. 17 Texas Tech kissed goodbye to nonconference play with yet another ugly win Saturday, topping Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 77-57.
The Red Raiders shot just 39.7% from the field, continuing to struggle creating clean looks for themselves in the halfcourt.
Moreover, they did not shoot it well from outside either. Two Kyler Edwards 3s in the first half were their only makes from behind the arc until Clarence Nadolny came off the bench and made two towards the end of the game.
Still, it was Texas Tech’s defense that led the way to victory.
The Islanders were held to three points in the first 9:30 of the game. Texas Tech went back to its full court press at times, and continued to force turnovers at a high rate.
With the Red Raiders’ offensive struggles in the halfcourt, they needed to score points off of those turnovers, and they did. Micah Peavy got two dunks off of steals in the first half, and could’ve had a third but opted to lay it in.
Those easy looks spearheaded a 11-0 run that built Texas Tech a comfortable lead that it would hold for the rest of the game.
It was another tough outing for Mac McClung, who was scoreless in the first half for the third straight game.
At his size, McClung will never be able to bully his way to the rim for easy shots. He’ll have to score with outside shots and layups among the trees; recently those looks just haven’t gone in.
Even so, McClung found other ways to contribute. He had six assists and three steals, both team highs.
Kyler Edwards bookended the first half with 3-pointers on Texas Tech’s first and last possessions. He’s been Texas Tech’s most consistent shooter this season.
Terrence Shannon returned after missing Wednesday’s game against Abilene Christian with an ankle injury. While he didn’t have his usual explosion, his return to the lineup was welcome.
He attacked the rim with gusto on drives, rebounds and cuts. He went up strong, making layups and drawing fouls. He paced the team with 15 points and seven rebounds.
The win was Chris Beard’s 100th at Texas Tech. Beard said Marcus Santos-Silva gave him the game ball in the locker room after the game.