Red Raiders poke Cowboys

STILLWATER, Oklahoma – Pop Isaacs had 19 points and five assists while Darrion Williams finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, and a career-high five steals to help lead Texas Tech to a 75-58 win over Oklahoma State on Tuesday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Tech (21-9, 10-7 Big 12) had a 21-point halftime lead, finished with a season-high 13 steals, and snapped a four-game losing streak in Stillwater along with sweeping the regular-season series against OSU (12-18, 4-13 Big 12) for just the fourth time since becoming Big 12 foes in 1997. The 17-point margin of victory is the eighth largest margin of victory in a Big 12 road game for the Red Raiders who never trailed after limiting the Cowboys to only 37.0 percent shooting and forcing 17 turnovers.

“You just want to continue getting better,” Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland said. “I felt like we took a step in the right direction in the first half defensively. We’ve been struggling in that area and it was a point of emphasis. Our guys set the tone and made them uncomfortable. I felt like our intensity on defense created some opportunities for us. I felt like we were aggressive the way we needed to be. Our guys were competing and playing for each other. It’s a fun time of year to be winning and I’m thrilled with our effort.”

The Red Raiders improved to 4-5 on the road in Big 12 play this season after also earning an 81-70 win at West Virginia last Saturday and are now 15-1 when leading at halftime. Tech’s largest margin of victory in a Big 12 home game is 30 with an 87-57 win at Iowa State in 2020 and a 28-point win (78-50) over Oklahoma State in 2019. The 13 steals were one behind the program record in a Big 12 game.

Isaacs led the Red Raiders in scoring for the 13th time this season after going 7-for-11 from the field, 3-of-3 at the free-throw line, and making two 3-pointers. Williams scored in double figures for the ninth straight game and had nine rebounds for the second straight game. He was one rebound away from his ninth double-double of the season after going 8-for-12 from the field and 2-for-3 on 3-pointers. Joe Toussaint reached the 500-assist milestone after he led Tech with six assists and had five steals – falling one back of his career-high. Toussaint finished the game with eight points.
Chance McMillian added 14 points and five rebounds, making 3-of-6 from beyond the arc after making five in the win at WVU. Robert Jennings provided eight points, six rebounds, and two assists from the starting lineup as Warren Washington remained out with a foot injury. Jennings was 2-for-2 from the field and went 4-of-4 at the free-throw line. Kewin Walton and Eemeli Yalaho added four points each. Tech finished the game shooting 12-for-13 at the free-throw line and made 7-of-21 (33.3%) of its 3-pointers.

In a first half where it led by as many as 23 points, Tech took a 38-17 lead into halftime with Isaacs and Williams both at 12 points and the Red Raider defense limiting OSU to only 21.4 percent shooting, including just 1-for-14 on 3-pointers. Defensively, the 17 points at halftime by OSU was the fewest Tech has allowed in a Big 12 game this season and matched the 17 it held Texas A&M-Commerce to in the season-opener.

Williams also had seven rebounds at the break where Tech was shooting 13-for-27 (48.1%) from the field and 4-for-14 on 3-pointers. The Red Raiders were 8-for-9 at the free-throw line. The Cowboys were 4-of-7 at the line and had 10 turnovers that turned into nine Tech points. Isaacs hit a 3-pointer and then a jumper for the first points of the game that gave Tech a 5-0 lead before a Williams layup pushed the early advantage to 7-0 in a game that started with OSU going 0-for-8 from the field. The Cowboys would come out of the first media timeout and score for the first time with a Dailey free throw with 15:02 on the clock. Williams would immediately respond, hitting his first 3-pointer to give Tech a 10-1 lead. Williams had seven points and six rebounds after a putback that gave Tech a 12-3 lead. The Red Raiders would build on their first-half lead with a 9-0 run that had them up 25-9 on an Isaacs 3-pointer that gave him 12 points with two 3-pointers. Williams remained hot, hitting his second 3-pointer for a 28-12 lead with 5:27 on the clock and him getting to 10 points. The Red Raiders were on another run, this time 9-0 that was capped by two Toussaint free throws before Keller made two free throws for OSU to make it 36-15 as Tech took its 16th halftime lead of the season.

A McMillian 3-pointer gave Tech 50 points and had them up 50-26 five minutes into the second half before a 9-0 run by OSU that had the game at 50-35. Isaacs would stop the run with a second-chance basket that gave him 16 points and had Tech back up by 17. Isaacs would get fouled on a 3-point attempt and make all three for a 64-45 lead with eight minutes to play and was followed by Toussaint getting to the basket for a layup that pushed it back to a 21-point lead. Tech was on a 7-0 run with Williams making a tough inside shot for a 68-45 lead and then another for a 70-48 lead. A McMillian 3-pointer gave him 14 points and Tech a 73-50 lead with 4:30 to play.

Texas Tech concludes its regular season by hosting No. 11 Baylor at 5 p.m. on Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders are 14-2 at home this season and will be looking to avenge a road loss in Waco. The Bears (22-8, 11-6 Big 12) are coming off a 93-85 win over Texas on Monday night to conclude their home schedule.

Release Provided By WES BLOOMQUIST Texas Tech Athletics

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