Texas Tech cruises by Houston Christian for 28th straight home win
|LUBBOCK, Texas – De’Vion Harmon and Kevin Obanor scored 22 points each while Daniel Batcho returned after missing two games due to injury to record his third double-double of the season in a 111-67 non-conference win over Houston Christian on Wednesday at the United Supermarkets Arena. The victory extended a five-game winning streak, a 28-game home winning streak and gave the program back-to-back 100-plus points in a game for the first time since 1996.
“To heck with defense, we’re going to try to hit the century mark every time,” joked Texas Tech head coach Mark Adams. “We’ve said all along that shooting could be a strength of this team. We pushed the ball and played with pace. Our motto is, ‘Together, We Attack’. We want to be aggressive on both ends and our guys are starting to buy into that.”
The Red Raiders (9-2) owned a 49-28 halftime lead and were never in distress throughout the game as they also extended 22 non-conference home winning streak and are 7-0 at home this season. HCU fell to 3-10 with the loss. Adams improved to 25-0 at home as the program’s head coach with the victory.
Harmon scored his season-high 22 points after going 8-for-10 from the field and also had a career-high nine assists. He was 2-for-3 on 3-pointers and also hit four free throws. His previous career-high in assists was six, including earlier this month against Eastern Washington and last season against Utah when he was playing for Oregon. He is now averaging 12.0 points and leads Tech with 3.9 assists after passing previous season-highs of 19 points against EWU and 18 in the win over Georgetown.
“Today, I felt like I was going kind of fast, but everything was slowed down so it made it easier on shots and finding my guys,” Harmon said. “I’m proud of how great we played and now it’s time to get some rest.”
Obanor added 22 points and nine rebounds, falling one rebound short of his 37th career double-double and second of the season but extended a streak of 10 straight games scoring in double figures. He was 7-for-12 from the field, including going 2-for-4 on 3-pointers. Obanor, who started his 48th straight game at Tech, added six points with a 6-for-6 performance at the free-throw line and is now leading the team with 15.6 points per game. Batcho, who missed the previous two games with an injury, came off the bench for the first time this season and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He also had double-doubles against Northwestern State and Georgetown and now has four games with double-figure rebounds. Batcho is now averaging 12.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season.
Jaylon Tyson added 11 points and a career-high five assists, while Robert Jennings scored eight points from the starting lineup and Kerwin Walton scored eight points for the second straight game. Walton was 2-for-4 on 3-pointers in the game where Tech went 9-for-22 from beyond the arc. Pop Isaacs also had two 3-pointers, finishing with six points and also having a career-high six assists while Lamar Washington contributed seven points and three steals. KJ Allen added six points and Elijah Fisher added five for the bench which scored 42 points in the game.
Tech finished the game with 27 assists on 40-made shots in the game and owned a 56-24 scoring advantage in the paint. The Red Raiders had eight players have at least one assist in the game and had all 12 available players score.
“It’s really nice to see these guys get out and start to see their potential become a realization and on a consistent basis,” Adams said. “We have been really proud of Lamar. He did great. He made some really big plays today. And Elijah, you see his confidence growing all the time. Kerwin hitting some threes and you know again these are things we see nearly everyday at practice we just hadn’t shown the fans how good these guys really are.”
The 111 points are the most since a 128-point performance against Texas in 2004 and is tied for the 13th most in program history. It followed a 102-52 win over Jackson State last Saturday and is the first time with back-to-back 100-point wins since a 111-101 win over Fresno State (12/21/1996) was followed by a 122-105 win over New Mexico State (12/27/1996). Tech is now 70-4 all-time when scoring over 100 points in program history.
Tech took a 49-28 lead into halftime with Harmon providing 13 points and five assist and Tyson at nine points. The Red Raiders were shooting 20-for-34 (58.6 percent) at the break. HCU was at 37.9 percent. Obanor had seven points and six rebounds through 20 minutes while Allen was leading the Tech bench with six points and two rebounds. Batcho had five points and four rebounds for the Red Raiders in 10:45 on the court. HCU was led by Long who had 13 points with three 3-pointers. He also had four steals in the first half. Tech owned a 26-16 scoring advantage in the paint and a commanding 18-4 scoring advantage off turnovers.
Tech will return from a brief Christmas break by hosting South Carolina State at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 27 at the USA before opening Big 12 play against TCU on Saturday, December 31 in Fort Worth. The Red Raiders host No. 4 Kansas on January 3 in their first Big 12 home game of the season.