PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – A night after rallying from 15 back for a win, Texas Tech rolled to a 16-point victory by dominating Michigan in its final game at the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis that finished with a 73-57 decision on Friday at Imperial Arena.
The Red Raiders (5-1) never trailed in the game and led by as many as 23 points in the win that ended the stay in the Bahamas with a 2-1 record after a win over Northern Iowa on Thursday and an opening-round loss to Villanova which went on to win the tournament. Devan Cambridge and Joe Toussaint led Tech with 17 points each, while Darrion Williams recorded his second double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Pop Isaacs scored 13 to give the Red Raiders four double-figure scorers for the second straight game.
The Red Raiders owned a 41-30 rebounding advantage over the Wolverines (4-3) and finished the game shooting 18-for-21 at the free-throw line. Tech is now 4-0 all-time against Michigan in the all-time series.
“I felt like we were able to play hard on both ends for 40 minutes,” Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland said. “Our guys really competed. Game plan and grit. It was a competitive environment and was thrilled with how our guys competed. We’ve been learning between games here. We watched film in preparation for this one and talked about what we needed to do to get better. You can concentrate on other teams, or you can concentrate on what you can do better. I thought our execution on offense early was very high level. That allowed us to get baskets and in the flow of the game.”
Cambridge scored 13 of his season-high 17 points in the second half and finished the game 6-for-10 from the field and 5-of-7 at the free-throw line. He also added seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Toussaint was the seventh player to score for Tech in the game but would go off for his 17 with two 3-pointers and a 7-for-7 performance at the line. He also led the team with four assists and had four rebounds. Fifth-year seniors, Cambridge now has 958 points and 509 rebounds in his career while Toussaint now has 879 career points. Toussaint has scored in double figures in all six games this season and leads Tech with 14.5 points per game, while Cambridge finished all three games at the tournament with double-figure scoring, including 11 against Villanova and 10 against UNI.
Cambridge scored seven early points in the second half with three straight layups to give Tech a 45-27 after he had missed a dunk going into halftime.
“We played for each other today,” Cambridge said. We had four guys in double figures and defensively we were aggressive and denied the passing lanes. Coach challenged me and that made me play better,” Cambridge said. “I came out and played hard. My teammates found me and I had some luck on that dunk.”
Warren Washington approached a double-double but would have strong night with nine rebounds and eight rebounds against a strong Michigan inside game, while Darrion Williams recorded that second double-double of his season and third in his career by grabbing the final rebound on the game’s final possession as time was expiring. He finished the night with a season-high three 3-pointers after going 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and had five offensive rebounds. His second 3-pointer gave Tech a 55-38 lead and his third pushed it to a 58-40 lead. Isaacs led Tech on Thanksgiving with 18 points in the win over UNI and followed it by adding four rebounds to his 13 points. He’s now averaging 13.7 points for the season with four games in double figures.
Tech took a 35-21 lead into halftime and would have four free throws coming out of the break with Michigan coach Juwan Howard getting a double-technical four at the end of the first half on a disputed call that was reversed to the Wolverine favor on video review. Isaacs made 3-of-4 of those free throws to take a 38-21 lead. Darrion Williams was leading the Red Raiders with eight rebounds and seven points at halftime, while Isaacs had a team-high eight points and also had three rebounds. Warren Washington added six points and five rebounds and Toussaint had five points. Toussaint and McMillian had two assists each to lead the team. Tech was shooting 14-for-35 from the field despite going just 2-for-11 on 3-pointers. Michigan was at 34.8 percent shooting and just 2-for-9 on 3-pointers. The Red Raiders had only five turnovers and had a 10-0 scoring advantage on points on turnovers and 10-4 on second-chance points after 20 minutes.
Tech won the tip and scored on its opening possession with an inside shot from Warren Washington off an assist from Toussaint assist and would lead 6-2 on a pair of baskets from Isaacs jumper – Led 8-5 at first media timeout. Darrion would start fast and had seven points after hitting a shot to give Tech a 17-9 lead eight minutes into the game. He also had five rebounds at that time. The Red Raiders had their first double-digit lead at 19-9 on a Cambridge layup on fastbreak and built a 24-9 lead with a 9-0 run following layups from Lamar Washington and Isaacs. Toussaint would hit his first basket of the game with a 3-pointer for a 33-17 lead. He was the seventh Tech player to score in the first half.
The Red Raiders finished the game shooting 25-for-58 (43.1 percent) with five 3-pointers and a 28-22 scoring advantage in the paint. Tech committed only 11 turnovers and enjoyed the 11-rebound margin advantage.
“It’s always great to fly home on a win,” McCasland said. “We’ll get to enjoy the day tomorrow. This was a first-class experience. We wanted to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game but we found a way to win two games after losing to the eventual champs. We got better here. That’s what this entire season is about. We want to build towards March and our team took steps in the right direction this week. It was an awesome trip and a blessing.”
Tech will now play against Butler in a Big 12-Big East Battle matchup on Thursday, November 30 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Release provided by WES BLOOMQUIST Texas Tech Athletics