Texas Tech rallies to top Nicholls; Extends home winning streak to 26

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech freshman Pop Isaacs scored a career-high 24 points with five 3-pointers and senior Kevin Obanor added 20 more to help lead the Red Raiders to a 78-71 win over Nicholls on Wednesday to extend a 26-game home winning streak at the United Supermarkets Arena.

The Red Raiders (6-2) overcame a 35-28 halftime deficit with a 10-2 run that started with an Obanor 3-pointer to close out the game for the win over the Colonels (3-5). Down as many as 11 in the second half, Tech would get its first lead of the game with Obanor following his 3-pointer with a layup for a 70-69 lead with 1:51 to play followed by Lamar Washington hitting four straight free throws.

“I think we came into the game flat, honestly,” Isaacs said. “They were playing harder than us most of the game. In the beginning, I felt we were playing hard. Through the middle of the game, I felt they were playing harder than us. It is that simple. In the last five minutes, we picked it back up, got us back in the game, and came out with a win.”

Daniel Batcho finished the game with 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots, while Washington finished with a season-best 12 points after going 12-for-17 at the free-throw line. A freshman from Portland, Oregon, Washington also had a career-high five assists and added seven rebounds which matched his career-best. De’Vion Harmon also had five assists in the game where Tech had 16 assists on 21 made shots. Obanor has now scored in double figures in 96 games in his career and seven straight this season. He added seven rebounds in the win over Nicholls and now leads Tech with 14.0 points per game.

Isaacs had his career-high 24 points after going 5-for-6 on 3-pointers and 6-for-9 overall from the field. He was 7-for-8 at the free-throw line and would also add three assists to his performance. Isaac’s 24 points were the most by a freshman since Jahmi’us Ramsey scored 25 against Iowa State on February 22, 2020. Ramsey had seven games of 20 or more in his freshman season, including a season-high 27 against LIU. His five 3-pointers are the most since Obanor hit five last season against Texas.

“We had to stay at it,” said Isaacs, who is now averaging 10.3 points per game and leads Tech with 17 3-pointers this season. “I felt like we were getting good looks most of the game. I do not think the offense was really the problem. I think we have to stay together overall. That is all it was. Keep chipping away and staying confident. We kept telling each other we were not going to lose the game. It was more of a mindset thing.”

Tech would survive a game where it had 18 turnovers and were only 29-for-46 at the free-throw line (63.0 percent). The team was outscored in the paint for the first time this season with Nicholls having a 30-26 advantage.

“We have to give Nicholls a lot of credit,” said Texas Tech head coach Mark Adams who improved to 23-0 at home leading the program. “I mean that. They have a lot of good players. They’re well coached. They play hard and are very athletic. You know, they’re 12th in the country in steals, and that’s been kind of our “Achilles’ Heel” is just taking care of the ball. That was something we didn’t handle very well, but what we did handle was at the end of the game we were able to meet all this adversity and have missing all these free throws, and I don’t think you could have scripted it much better and we were still able to find a way to win. I’m proud of the guys to that and show a lot of the character and trust in each other down the stretch.”

The Red Raiders return next Tuesday against Eastern Washington at the USA before traveling to Houston where they’ll play Jackson State at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 at the Delmar Fieldhouse.

First Half

  • Batcho lost the tip but scored the game’s first points on a dunk on Tech’s first possession off an assist from Harmon for a 2-0 lead
  • Isaacs hit the first 3-pointer of the game to give Tech a 5-2 lead off an assist from Batcho… He hit his second to push the lead to 10-4 going into the first media timeout of the game
  • Nicholls tied the game with a 6-0 run that was capped by a Thomas jumper to make it 10-10 (14:26)… Obanor stopped the run with a pair of free throws on the other end
  • Batcho hit a pair of free throws to give Tech a 17-14 lead… The Red Raiders were just 1-for-10 on field goals during a stretch before his two free throws pushed the lead to three midway through the first half
  • Nicholls took its first lead with a Huffman layup that was started by a steal… Huffman converted the and-one to give the Colonels a 19-17 lead with 8:13 on the clock before taking a 21-18 lead over Tech into the under-8 media timeout
  • Obanor hit a jumper and Washington made a free throw to cut the deficit to 24-22 with 5:46 to play before Nicholls responded with a jumper from Jones to push its lead back to four… A lob from Washington to Jennings who dunked it made it 26-24 with five minutes to play
  • Nicholls led 30-24 on a Jones 3-pointer… The Colonels were 1-for-4 on 3-pointers after the make

Second Half

  • Batcho threw down a dunk to start the second half just as he did in the first… It gave him 10 points and had Tech trailing 35-30
  • Isaacs drove in for a layup and then hit a 3-pointer and free throw for a personal 6-0 run that took the game to 40-38 with 17:17 on the clock… Isaacs had a team-high 12 points after the free throw to convert the 4-point play
  • Batcho got to 12 points with his third dunk of the game off a pass from Washington to make it a 43-40 game… Batcho was 5-for-6 from the field after the dunk while Tech was 17-for-38 from the field
  • Obanor hit his first 3-pointer of the game to tie it at 45-45 with 14:12 to play… Obanor had nine points and five rebounds at that point in the game while Tech was 4-for-11 on 3-pointers after his shot
  • Nicholls took a 53-49 lead into the under-12 media timeout on a Jones 3-pointer after Obanor had made it a one-point game with a dunk that had him at 13 points
  • Nicholls was on an 8-0 run and had a 58-49 lead after a steal and layup from Huffman… Tech had 16 turnovers after his steal and Nicholls had a 14-1 scoring advantage on fastbreak points with 9:24 to play
  • Obanor stopped a 10-0 run by getting inside for a layup that made it a 60-51 deficit… He had 15 points after the shot that made it a nine-point game
  • Isaacs hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game to make it 62-57 with 6:06 remaining… He had 17 points after the basket and Tech was 5-for-14 from beyond the arc
  • Isaacs hit his fifth 3-pointer and had 20 points to make it 65-60 and was followed by Harmon coming up with a steal and then hitting one free throw
  • Washington made a pair of free throws to cut it to 67-63 with 3:21 to play… Isaacs followed with two of his own to make it 67-65 and give him 22 points
  • Obanor hit a long-range 3-pointer to make it a 69-68 game with 2:25 remaining… He had 18 points and was 2-for-6 on 3-pointers after the basket
  • Obanor would give Tech a 70-69 lead with 1:51 on the clock on a layup off an assist from Washington… The fastbreak started on a rebound from Batcho that gave him 10 rebounds
  • Washington hit a pair of free throws to push the Tech run to 7-0 and the lead to 72-69 with 55 seconds remaining… It gave him 10 points for a new career-high

Release provided by Wes Bloomquist Texas Tech Athletics

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