No. 21 Tech stifles Louisville at Maui Jim Maui Invitational 70-38

LAHAINA, Hawaii – Dominating defense by No. 21 Texas Tech led to a commanding 70-38 win over Louisville at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Tuesday at the Lahaina Civic Center. A quick rundown of the final stats had the Cardinals limited to only 22.4 percent shooting from the field (17.4 in the first half), 3-for-18 on 3-pointers, scoring only 13 points in the first half, not scoring in the second half during the opening six minutes, a 32-12 scoring advantage in the paint, 14 steals and a 25-0 run by the Red Raiders that carried over from the first half to the second. The 38 points allowed were the fewest since the Final Four team held Incarnate Word to 37 and also one short of the all-time Maui Invitational record.

Tech (4-1) bounced back in resounding fashion from the loss to No. 10 Creighton on Monday by putting its stifling defense on full display to a national audience on the second day of the tournament. In a 32-point win, Kevin Obanor was the only Red Raider in double figures with 15 points while Daniel Batcho finished the gam with 12 rebounds, nine points, three blocks and three steals. There were 11 players who scored in the game – the third time this season with that many – including D’Maurian Williams scoring a season-high with 10 points to lead the reserves and Robert Jennings and Jaylon Tyson scoring eight points each.

“I’m just pleased that we were able to come back after that tough and disappointing, frustrating, loss against Creighton,” said Texas Tech coach Mark Adams who improved to 31-11 leading the program. “Exposed a lot of our weaknesses. I thought we came back today strong and focused on defense, things that we believe in in our identity. So, I was really proud of our guys.”

Tech will now play at 1:30 p.m. (CST) on Wednesday in its final game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. The third game in three days will be against the winner of the Ohio State and Cincinnati game.

The Cardinals (0-5) scored the game’s first basket with a 3-pointers before Tech responded by going on an 11-0 run to stake claim to the day. The Red Raiders never looked back, leading by as many as 38 points in the second half after finishing the first half on a 12-0 run and opening the second half on a 13-0 run. It was 45-13 before Louisville hit its first shot of the second half where they would be stuck at 20 points before going on an 11-0 run of its own to break up a potentially historic game by the Red Raiders.

“We come and play hard every day,” Jennings said. “We’re going to dive on the floor. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to make teams feel uncomfortable. We’re going to be the team that people don’t want to play. I feel like we did that today and we came out with a win.”

Lamar Washington had a career-high seven rebounds and also had four assists and four points, while Pop Isaacs scored five points and had three steals and two assists and De’Vion Harmon had three steals and four points. CJ Williams scored the first points of his career with a pair of free throws. Tech finished the game shooting 43.1 percent from the field despite going only 5-for-19 on 3-pointers and were 21 of 32 at the free-throw line. Louisville was 13 of 21 at the line and finished the game with 18 turnovers.

Tech took a 32-13 lead into halftime by closing out the half on a 12-0 overall run and a 17-2 run over the final eight minutes. Tyson led the team with seven points and Obanor and Jennings scoring six points each. The Red Raiders limited the Cardinals to only 13 points after holding them to 4-for-23 shooting and forcing eight turnovers. Tech had only three turnovers at the break and built its lead with an 11-0 run after Louisville had scored the first points of the game with a 3-pointer. Isaacs had not scored in the first half before a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in the half to push the lead to 19. Batcho had eight rebounds in the first half and also four points while Harmon also had four points. Tech was 10-for-24 from the field (41.7 percent) and 3-for-11 on 3-pointers through 20 minutes. Louisville was only 1-for-7 on 3-pointers and was led by Withers who had five points. The Cardinals missed their final seven shots of the first half.

“I was on ’em pretty hard yesterday,” Adams said. “I don’t necessarily like to be that way. But we just got so many new and young players and we got to get ’em to grow up. Sometimes you have to do that different ways. We’ve been a little bit, kind of more stern with ’em and talk more about discipline and toughness. Still have a long ways to go, but it was really satisfying to see these guys at least listen, be coachable, and I think make a step forward.”

Tech improved to 2-0 all-time against Louisville after also earning a 70-57 win at the 2019 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Cardinals were ranked No. 1 in the nation during that game, becoming the first top-ranked team the Red Raiders had ever beat. Tech also topped No. 1 Baylor last season.

The fewest points allowed at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational prior to Tuesday’s performance by the Red Raiders was Minnesota holding Arizona State to 37 in the 1991 tournament.

Louisville took the first lead of the game at 3-0 after a Withers 3-pointer on its second possession
Harmon put Tech on the board for the first time with a 3-pointer on the fifth possession (16:51) to tie the game at three… The game was tied 3-3 at the first media timeout of the game with Tech shooting 1-for-4 to start (all 3-pointers)
Harmon gave Tech its first lead of the game (4-3) by hitting a free throw coming out of the media timeout
Jennings threw down a fastbreak dunk to give Tech an 8-3 lead (14:15) and followed with an and-one to make it 11-3 (13:44)
Louisville stopped an 11-0 run by Tech with a pair of free throws from Huntley-Hatfield (13:29)
Obanor made his first basket of the game with a fastbreak layup for a 13-5 lead (12:02)… Tech was 5-for-12 shooting and Louisville was 1-for-9 at that point in the game
Batcho scored his first points of the game with a pair of free throws to push the Tech lead to 15-9 (10:31)… Tech was 4-for-7 at the free-throw line after his free throws
Obanor gave Tech a 20-11 lead and had six points after a jumper in the lane (5:33)… Batcho followed with a fastbreak dunk off an assist from Washington for a 22-13 lead (3:47)
Tyson hit his first shot of the game with a 3-pointer to push Tech’s lead to 25-13 with 3:03 remaining in the half… Tech was 2-for-9 from beyond the arc after Tyson’s shot that was assisted by Washington – his third of the game… The lead grew to 27-13 with Tyson hitting a pair of free throws on the next possession to extend a 7-0 run
Isaacs hit his first shot of the first half with a 3-pointer with thee seconds remaining to push the lead to 19 at the break
The 13 points were a low for the season and the lowest since Northwestern State scored only 10 at halftime back in 2018… Tech had held ACU to 14 first-half points on Dec. 9, 2022
D’Maurian Williams hit a 3-pointer to give Tech a 38-13 lead (17:52) followed by a pair of Batcho free throws to get the Red Raiders to 40… The run continued with a Batcho dunk and Obanor layup to push the lead to 44-13 (15:46)
Tech was on a 12-0 run to begin the second half… Louisville was 0-for-3 from the field with five turnovers going into the first media timeout (15:46)
Louisville scored for the first time in the second half with a layup from Curry with 14:13 on the clock to make it 45-15

Release provided by WES BLOOMQUIST Texas Tech Athletics

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