LUBBOCK, Texas — No. 18 Texas Tech beat Iowa State 81-54 Thursday night in the team’s final home game of the season, and gave the fans a show while they were at.
The Red Raiders (17-8, 9-7 Big 12) attacked the rim with gusto and threw down several dunks in the lopsided victory. Chris Beard inserted senior student-manager Ty Larson in the game’s final minute, and he drew a charge, sending the crowd and Texas Tech’s bench into a frenzy.
The hapless Cyclones fell to 0-17 in Big 12 play with the loss. They have not won a game since December 20, and were missing their leading scorer Rasir Bolton with an ankle injury Thursday.
The Red Raiders shot a scorching 61.7% from the field on the evening and had five players with double digit points. Mac McClung led the way with 20.
They attacked the basket ferociously, finishing with 36 points from the paint. They slammed home four dunks, two Micah Peavy alley-oop jams off smooth feeds from Kevin McCullar, and two signature Terrence Shannon Jr. lefty tomahawks.
Kyler Edwards benefited from the hard drives. He was left with plenty of space outside, and made Iowa State pay three times with 3-pointers.
Texas Tech appeared to be on its way towards putting the game away early, taking a 23-7 lead with 8:28 remaining in the first half, but Iowa State did not go away quietly. The Cyclones made a 20-8 run from that point, trimming the Texas Tech lead to four points.
Shannon and McClung made baskets in the half’s final minute to give the Red Raiders an eight-point cushion going into halftime.
In the second half, they finally did put the game on ice. TTU abused the spotty Cyclone defense for 46 points in the half.
The Red Raiders had a few lapses on defense but were solid overall, holding Iowa State to 31% from the field.
Texas Tech returned to Lubbock and got a pair of stress-free victories over TCU and Iowa State, a needed breather from the gauntlet they endured before the two-game homestand.
Next, the Red Raiders have perhaps their toughest test of the season, a duel with No. 3 Baylor in Waco at 3:00 p.m. Sunday.