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No. 25 Red Raiders down No. 6 Jayhawks

LUBBOCK, Texas – Bryson Williams went for 22 points and eight rebounds while Clarence Nadolny scored a career-high 17 points to help lead No. 25 Texas Tech to a 75-67 win over No. 6 Kansas on Saturday at the United Supermarkets Arena.

The Red Raiders (11-3, 1-1 Big 12) earned their 26th win over a top-10 opponent in program history, beat a top-10 opponent for the eighth straight season and knocked off a top-10 Kansas team for the fifth time. Tech, which snapped a four-game losing streak to KU, led 33-25 at halftime, by as many as 14 in the second half and held the Jayhawks (12-2, 1-1 Big 12) to a season-low in scoring and 17 points below their season average.

“I think we’ve grown up a lot,” said Texas Tech coach Mark Adams who is now 9-0 at home. “There’s a toughness about us that we may not have a few weeks ago or even when we played Gonzaga and Providence. These guys didn’t quit. They came up with big plays. We talked in the huddle ‘make winning plays’ in the last four or five minutes. I think everybody, including (the media), knew this was going to be a nail bitter. We weren’t going to win by 15-20 because Kansas doesn’t quit. It came down to a few plays in the last few minutes and I’m just really proud of our guys for making the big plays to get the win.”

TTU will now play at No. 1 Baylor at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the Ferrell Center in Waco to complete a three-game stretch against ranked opponents to begin Big 12 play. The Bears are 15-0 overall and 3-0 in Big 12 play after a 76-64 win at TCU on Saturday.

Against KU after having only seven available players in its 51-47 loss at No. 11 Iowa State on Wednesday, Tech had eight players enter the game while the Jayhawks played 11. Terrence Shannon, Jr. and Kevin McCullar remained unavailable for the Red Raiders due to injury. TTU finished the game shooting 50.9 percent from the field, had an assist on 18 of 28 made baskets and won by eight despite hitting six fewer 3-pointer in the game. Kansas cut Tech’s lead to four points at 71-67 with 1:12 remaining in the game on an Ochai Agbaji 3-pointer before Williams and Adonis Arms hit a pair of final-minute free throws to secure the win. The Red Raiders held KU to 34.8 percent shooting in the first half and 44.7 percent for the game while also forcing 17 turnovers.

Williams matched his season-high with the 22 points that came with him going 9-for-13 from the field. He finished the game with four offensive and four defensive rebounds and also had three assists. It was the 88th game in his career scoring in double-figures.

“We buy in on the defensive end,” Williams said. “That’s the part of the game – that’s the side of the ball that really won us the game. I mean we just knew that we had to take care of business on that side. This is a very talented team and they can really get points up in a hurry. We knew that we had to take care of the defensive side of the ball.”

Nadolny, who was making his second start of his career, went off for a career-high 17 points by going 6 of 13 from the field and 5-for-5 at the free-throw line. A junior from France, Nadolny is in his third season at Tech and came into the game averaging 3.4 points per game this season and 2.2 in his career. His breakout game also included him leading the team with three steals and had having three rebounds.

“I think Clarence gained some confidence, momentum in the Iowa State game because he’s been out for a while,” Adams said. “I thought he was tremendous. He had three steals and he plays with a lot of courage and intensity and it’s just contagious with the rest of the guys. Love Clarence. He was a guy that was loyal to me when I took this job. He loves Texas Tech, he’s a great Red Raider, just plays so hard. He’s one of my favorites on the floor. I imagine he’s a fan favorite too because he gives everything he has.”

Mylik Wilson led the team with five assists and finished with five points after missing five games due to minor knee surgery. Wilson now has 31 assists this season and two 3-pointers, hitting his second of the season to push the lead to 65-56 with 4:40 remaining in the game. Kevin Obanor, Davion Warren and Marcus Santos-Silva each finished the game with seven points and Arms added eight points and four assists. Obanor also had seven rebounds in the win and now has 17 rebounds in the past two games after having a season-high 10 at Iowa State.

Agbaji scored a game-high 24 points after going 6-for-9 on 3-pointers, while Jalen Wilson had 20 points with three 3-pointers and also had three steals. Christian Braun added 10 points and six rebounds for the Jayhawks who were 10-for-26 on 3-pointers in the game while the Red Raiders were only 4-for-16 in the win. Both teams finished with 15 made free throws, Tech going 15 of 22 and KU shooting 15-for-18 from the free-throw line.

Tech took a 33-25 lead into halftime by limiting the Jayhawks to 34.8 percent shooting from the field and just 3-for-11 on 3-pointers. The Red Raiders finished the first half on a 7-0 run to take the eight-point lead into the break. Nadolny led the Red Raiders with 11 points by going 4-for-7 from the field and 3-for-3 at the free-throw line, while Williams had nine points by shooting 4 of 5 in the first half. Arms added five points with Tech’s only 3-pointer and Obanor led the team with four rebounds through 20 minutes. TTU was shooting 46.7 percent from the field and had 10 assists on 14 made baskets in the half. Wilson led KU with 13 points in the first half while Agbaji had eight points.

The top-10 win was the 12th for the Red Raiders since 2015 after also earning a win over No. 4 Texas last season. Tech improved to 2-2 against ranked opponents this season going into the matchup against No. 1 Baylor on Tuesday. The Red Raiders are now 7-39 all-time against KU after stopping a four-game losing streak after getting swept in the season series the past two years. Tech’s last win over KU was a 91-62 victory on Feb. 23, 2019 in Lubbock.

Second Half

Tech went up 10 for the first time in the game at 37-27 with Nadolny coming away with a steal on an in-bounds play and then a layup
Obanor hit a 3-pointer to push Tech’s lead to 40-29 before Wilson responded with KU 3-pointer on the other end four minutes into the second half
Tech took a 48-37 lead on a Williams 3-pointer off an assist from Wilson with 13 minutes remaining in the game… Williams had 14 points after the 3-pointer that gave Tech its largest lead in the game
KU cut its deficit to 53-48 with an Agbaji 3-pointer before Tech responded on the other end with Warren hitting a layup and free throw to push it back to an eight-point lead with 7:50 remaining
Williams threw down a dunk in traffic to give Tech a 58-51 lead with six minutes to play… Santos-Silva had the assist that gave Williams 18 points
Wilson hit a 3-pointer off a Williams assists to give the Red Raiders a 65-56 lead with 4:09 to play

First Half:

KU won the tip but had a turnover on its first possession… Tech started the game on a 4-0 run scoring on its opening possessions with Nadolny and Arms hitting shots before a 3-pointer by Kansas
Tech took a 12-10 lead after a pair of jumpers from Williams and Obanor with 14 minutes to play until halftime… Nadolny gave the Red Raiders a 15-12 lead with a layup and free throw and then a 17-14 advantage with another jumper
Tech took a 19-14 lead on a Batcho dunk off an assist from Williams 10 minutes into the game… It was the seventh assist for the Red Raiders through nine baskets
KU went on a 7-0 to take a 21-19 lead before Williams responded with another basket to tie it at 21… Williams had six points through 13 minutes in the game
Nadolny set a new career-high at 11 points after a pair of free throws to give Tech a 28-25 lead with four minutes to play until halftime
Arms drilled the first Tech 3-pointer of the game to give the Red Raiders a 31-25 lead with 2:04 until halftime… Tech had started 0-for-6 on 3-pointers
Tech went on a 7-0 run to end the half capped by a hook shot from Williams with 29 seconds until halftime… A missed jumper by Agbaji with a second remaining ended the half with KU shooting 8-for-23

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