LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior Kevin Obanor recorded the 36th double-double of his career with a season-high 25 points and 10 rebounds to help lead Texas Tech to a 77-70 win over Eastern Washington on Tuesday at the United Supermarkets Arena.
De’Vion Harmon added 19 points and a career-high six steals in the win that extended the Red Raiders (7-2) home winning streak to 27 games, while freshman Pop Isaacs had 15 points after hitting three 3-pointers. Tech, which played without Daniel Batcho who was out with an ankle injury, has now won 21 straight non-conference home games overall and is now 6-0 at home this season. EWU fell to 4-7.
“Good win. I give credit to Eastern Washington,” Obanor said. “They’re a really good team. Very long team. Just give credit to them. It was closer than we wanted it to be and we still have a long way to go, especially for what Texas Tech is all about. They won pretty much every 50-50 ball and we gave up seventy points. We know we’re not there yet, but at the same time it’s early to a certain degree. We don’t have to be to our fullest capability until Big 12 and then a tournament, so it’s just the journey.”
“This game, even though it didn’t show it in the stat sheet, proved to ourselves that we can play some defense,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams added. “I think all our coaches agree we just have to continue to move forward with that. I thought a lot of it just came in how these guys played.”
Obanor’s 25 points are a season-high and also the most he’s had in his two seasons at Tech. He has a career-high 39 points while he was at ORU, but had 23 points against Baylor last season for his previous Tech best. He was coming off 20 points against Nicholls last week and has now scored in double figures in eight straight games and in 97 in his career. He leads the team with 15.2 points per game this season.
“We have a group of new guys, and you know it starts with me,” Obanor said. “We just have to be better, but it was a tough win. Still happy for the guys and you have to keep getting better.”
Lamar Washington led the Red Raiders with four assists and also added four points and two steals, while KJ Allen had a season-high seven rebounds and five points to lead the reserves. Isaacs is now scoring 10.8 points per game and leads Tech with 20 3-pointers. He’s currently shooting 42.6 percent on 3-pointers despite going just 3-for-12 in the win over EWU. Jaylon Tyson returned from missing last week’s game with an injury and finished with five rebounds and four points while Robert Jennings started in place of Batcho and contributed three points.
Tech finished the game shooting 42.2 percent from the field. EWU was 48.1 percent.
“You look at the percentages and you think it wasn’t great defense, but we made a lot of big shots,” Adams said. “It’s a start where we can build on that intensity and try to maintain that effort for 40 mins. I think that was really good for our guys to learn some of the things moving forward.”
The Red Raiders were 19-for-22 at the free-throw line and forced 21 turnovers by the Eagles to overcome shooting just 4-for-25 on 3-pointers. EWU stayed in the game throughout by shooting 11-for-28 on 3-pointers led by Steele Venters who finished with 26 points after going 5-for-11 on 3-pointers. Angelo Allegri added 14 points with three 3-pointers. EWU was only 9-for-12 at the free-throw line.
Tech and EWU went into halftime tied 29-29 with Obanor leading the Red Raiders with nine points and six rebounds. Tech was only 2-for-17 on 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes while EWU was 6-for-15 from beyond the arc. Harmon had six points and three steals for the Red Raiders and Isaacs had five points with one 3-pointer. Allegri was leading the Eagles with 11 points and five rebounds, while Venters had 10 points. Allegri was 3-for-6 on 3-pointers in the first half and Venters had hit two. Tech owned a 14-4 scoring advantage in the paint in the first half and had forced 11 turnovers. The Red Raiders were shooting 32.4 percent from the field. EWU shot 40.0 percent going into the break.
The Red Raiders will return to action this weekend against Jackson State at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Delmar Fieldhouse in Houston. The game is part of the Coaches vs. Racism HBCU Roundball Classic. Jackson State is currently 1-8 on the season with a game against Mississippi State set for Wednesday night in Jackson before taking on Tech in Houston.
EWU won the tip and scored on a 3-pointer from Allegria on its opening possession… Obanor scored Tech’s first points on a layup off an Isaacs assists on its first offensive possession
EWU went up 9-2 on a Venters 3-pointer before a Harmon jumper was followed by a steal and layup to cut it to 9-6 going into the first media timeout of the game
Obanor hit Tech’s first 3-pointer of the game to give the Red Raiders their first lead at 13-11 with 12:35 remaining in the first half… Tech had started 0-for-4 on 3s before he hit the shot off a Fisher assist
Tech went into the under-8 media timeout of the first half hitting 1 of its last 9 shots and trailing 16-15 with 7:50 to play until halftime… Obanor was leading the Red Raiders with five points and four rebounds at that point in the game
EWU took a 23-17 lead with Allegri hitting his third 3-pointer and the sixth of the opening half for the Eagles… Tech was 1-for-12 on 3s on the other side of the court
Tyson stopped a 7-0 run and made it a 23-19 deficit with a layup… He had four points and three rebounds after the shot… Jennings would follow with his first points of the game with an and-one to cut the game to 25-24
Isaacs gave Tech a 29-27 lead with his first 3-pointer of the game off an assist from Allen… It gave him five points and Tech was 2-for-16 on 3s
Obanor got to double figures with 11 points after a layup following an EWU 3-pointer to start the second half… He was 5-for-11 from the field after the shot
Harmon came up with a steal and fastbreak layup to get up to 10 points and cut EWU’s lead to 38-37 going into the first media timeout of the second half… It was Harmon’s fourth steal of the game and the 13th turnover by the Eagles
Allen pulled down his season-high sixth rebound off a missed 3-pointer and was fouled on the putback attempt… He would make one of two free throws to tie the game at 38 with 14:21 on the clock
Washington had a steal and dunk to give Tech a 40-38 lead with 13:38 remaining… It was Washington’s first points of the game
Tech was on a 6-0 run with Allen making a layup following an Obanor layup… The Red Raider lead was 46-41
Washington threw down his second dunk of the half to give Tech a 52-45 lead with 8:43 remaining… It was off his second steal and took Tech’s fastbreak point total to 10… EWU had 17 turnovers at that point, Tech only had 9
Isaacs hit his second 3-pointer of the game to push Tech’s lead to 58-53 with 5:57 remaining… He had 10 points and Tech was 3-for-22 on 3s after the make
Obanor made an and-one with a tough layup and Isaacs followed with a 3 to push Tech’s lead to 64-59… Harmon would make a layup with 4:19 to play to give Tech a 66-59 lead… Obanor was up to 23 points and 8 rebounds
Harmon drove in to make a strong basket to give Tech a 70-65 lead with 2:00 on the clock and would get the rebound on his missed free throw… Obanor would eventually find himself at the line on the possession where he made both – giving him 25 points and Tech a 72-65 lead with 1:50 to play
Harmon got to his season-high 19 points by hitting a pair of free throws with 30 seconds on the clock… It gave Tech a 77-70 lead
Release provided by Wes Bloomquist Texas Tech Athletics