Tech drops nail-biter to No. 24 TCU

LUBBOCK, Texas – Down 12 in the second half, Texas Tech fought back and had a shot at the end of the game to win it that missed as No. 24 TCU escaped with an 83-82 win on Saturday at the United Supermarkets Arena.

The Red Raiders (16-13, 5-11 Big 12) had their four-game winning streak end with the loss while the Horned Frogs (19-10, 8-8) snapped a seven-game losing streak in Lubbock. De’Vion Harmon gave Tech an 82-81 lead with a steal that led to a layup with 12 seconds remaining but was followed by TCU’s Jakobe Coles getting fouled and hitting two free throws with four seconds on the clock. Harmon drove the ball down the court and missed on a last-second heave from beyond the arc to end the game.

Tech will now play at No. 3 Kansas at 8 p.m. on Tuesday in Lawrence, Kansas before finishing the regular season by hosting Oklahoma State at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 at the USA.

“We give TCU the respect and credit they deserve,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. “I thought they played well. They’re a veteran group and knew what they had to do. They didn’t lose their poise and composure and I thought they played really solid for 40 minutes. At the same time, we have a very sad group in our locker room. This team is growing, is used to winning and likes to win. This game really stung and there is a lot of emotion in the locker room today. We’ll learn from it and move on.”

Fardaws Aimaq led Tech with 19 points and six rebounds, while Kevin Obanor had nine rebounds and 17 points. Two late 3-pointers by Obanor pulled the Red Raiders to within 77-75 with 3:12 to play after they had trailed 74-62 with 7:39 remaining. After an exchange of baskets, Jaylon Tyson gave Tech its first lead of the second half with a 3-pointer with 1:43 to play. Tyson finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds, shooting 5-for-6 from the field and 2-of-2 on 3-pointers. Harmon would score 18 points and matched Pop Isaacs for a team-high five assists.

Tech finished the game shooting 30-for-60 (50 percent) from the field and was 7-of-20 on 3-pointers with Obanor, Isaacs and Tyson making two 3-pointers each. Isaacs finished the game with six points. Elijah Fisher would make the other 3-pointer, taking the 12-point lead down to nine with 7:10 before Obanor’s first 3-pointer made it a 74-68 game. Fisher finished the game with eight points, matching a career-high that he also scored in a non-conference game against Jackson State. He was 3-for-4 from the field in 15 minutes of play to lead the reserves.

Aimaq matched his season-high with 19 points for the second straight game after leading Tech with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the win at Oklahoma on Tuesday in Norman. He was 5-for-11 from the field and 9-for-10 at the free-throw line. Playing in his eighth game this season, Aimaq also had six rebounds with four coming on the offensive end. Tech trailed 44-35 at halftime and saw three players score in double figures in the second half to mount the comeback. Harmon had 13 second-half points, while Aimaq scored 12 of his 19 in the second half and Obanor had 11 of his 17 in the final 20 minutes.

Tech shot 60.7 percent in the second half but was only 9-for-13 from the free-throw line. The Red Raiders were 15-for-21 at the line for the game. TCU was 11-for-13.

TCU finished the game with a 33-31 rebounding advantage in the game and a 52-44 scoring margin in the paint. Tech has outscored 20 of 29 opponents in the paint, but TCU has won the battle inside in both. In Fort Worth, TCU had a 44-22 scoring advantage in the paint.

Mike Miles scored a game-high 24 points with two 3-pointers, while Coles finished with 15 points and five rebounds. Coles was 4-for-4 at the free-throw line, including the game-winning shots at the end. Emmanuel Miller recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Xavier Cork had 10 points. Micah Peavy, who played at Tech as a freshman in the 2020-21 season, had four points and three rebounds.

TCU took a 44-35 lead into halftime after a Miles layup at the buzzer to end the half. Tyson led Tech with nine points in the first half and also had four rebounds, while Aimaq had seven points and four rebounds. Obanor led Tech with six rebounds and had six points and Isaacs had hit two 3-pointers for six points. Tech was shooting 13-for-32 from the field but was only 3-for-13 on 3-pointers. TCU was 18-for-38 (47.4 percent from the field and 3-fo-15 on 3-pointers. Miles had 15 points at the break on 5-for-9 shooting and Miller had 11 points and seven rebounds. TCU had a 28-20 scoring advantage in the paint in a half where the teams were tied with 19 rebounds each.

“What a great game on a Saturday at 11 o’clock,” TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said. “People were on the edge of their seats. Great crowd for Texas Tech and great atmosphere and certainly. They kept battling and kept fighting. They got back in it and we kept fighting through it. I’m proud of how we handled the last minute. We obviously had big foul trouble throughout. But we took care of the ball with just 10 turnovers. That was huge for us. We made our free throws and made them take, I think, tough threes.”

Tech is now 11-5 on its home court this season while TCU improved to 3-6 on the road. The Horned Frogs had now swept the regular-season series from the Red Raiders since 2015. Tech falls to 3-9 against ranked opponents this season and is now 5-2 when teams are going for a season sweep.

Tech won the tip and scored on its opening possession with Obanor backing his way down for an inside shot
Tyson hit Tech’s first 3-pointer, giving the Red Raiders a 5-0 lead… Isaacs would hit the second for an 8-4 lead three minutes into the game
Obanor battled inside for another basket, giving him six points and Tech a 14-9 lead (12:45)… Tech was 5-for-13 from the field to start the game… TCU was 4-for-11
TCU took its first lead of the game on a Miller putback… taking an 18-17 lead (9:46)… Miller had five rebounds and four points after the play
Miles hit a jumper to give TCU a 27-20 lead (8:07) and him nine points on 3-for-5 shooting midway through the first half
Aimaq would break up a 7-0 run by TCU with a layup off an assist from Isaacs for a 29-22 game (7:33)
Isaacs hit his second 3-pointer of the game to cut TCU’s lead to 33-29 and was followed by Tyson coming away with a steal and fastbreak layup to make it a 33-31 game (3:33)… Tech was 3-for-14 on 3-pointers to start the game
TCU was on a 7-0 run with Cork extending it with an in-bounds basket and then 9-0 with a Wells dunk… TCU led 42-31 (1:02) before Aimaq stopped the run at nine with a pair of free throws
Harmon would cut it to a 44-40 game with a fastbreak layup and free throw (18:23)… He had eight points after the play
Fisher came up with a steal and fastbreak layup to make it a 51-46 game… He had four points at that point after forcing the sixth TCU turnover of the game
Aimaq was up to 13 points and had Tech within three points after backing down a defender for an inside shot… Harmon followed, driving in for a layup to make it a 53-50 game (14:28) before another layup cut it to one (14:01)
Harmon had six straight points and made the game a 55-54 TCU lead with 13:24 on the clock… He had 14 points with 13 minutes remaining
TCU took a 68-58 lead with 9:52 remaining on a Wells layup before Aimaq answered on the other end with a hook and Obanor made a layup to bring it back to six
Fisher made Tech’s first 3-pointer of the second half (7:10) to make it a 74-65 game… He had eight points after the shot that made it nine-point game… Tech was only 1-for-3 on 3-pointers in the second half at that point while TCU was 3-for-6
Obanor drilled a 3-pointer out of an in-bounds play to make it 74-68 (6:03)
Obanor hit another 3-pointer to cut it to 77-75 with 3:12 to play… He had 17 points after the shot that made him 6-for-11 from the field with two 3-pointers
Tyson gave Tech an 80-79 lead with a 3-pointer off an assist from Harmon for the first lead of the second half… Tyson’s 3-pointer was his second of the game and forced TCU into a timeout with 1:41 on the clock
Miles would give TCU back the lead before Harmon drove in on the other end for a layup with 12 seconds on the clock to give Tech an 82-81 lead… Tech immediately called a timeout with TCU set to get the ball back for the final possession

Release provided by WES BLOOMQUIST Texas Tech Athletics

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