LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 19 Texas Tech opened Thursday’s game against Oklahoma State with its foot pressed down on the gas pedal and never relented.
The Red Raiders zoomed out to a 10-0 lead, playing an aggressive, trapping style of defense and moving the ball fluidly on offense. They played well on both ends throughout, beating the Cowboys 78-57 to stretch their winning streak to three games.
“It’s pretty simple,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. “Texas Tech was tremendous. Tonight is about them.”
Of course, the Red Raiders were coming off consecutive wins against two of the best teams in the country: topping No. 6 Kansas in Lubbock before snapping No. 1 Baylor’s undefeated start in Waco.
The Cowboys are not the same caliber as those foes, but no Big 12 game will be easy, and Oklahoma State fought its way back into Thursday’s. After taking more than seven minutes to make their first field goal of the game, the Cowboys settled in on offense and a Bryce Williams 3-pointer tied the game at 21 in the first half.
Texas Tech weathered the storm. Adonis Arms buried back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the lead to seven points and the Red Raiders finished the half on a 19-5 run, taking a 42-27 lead into the break.
Arms, who burst onto the national scene with his impressive performance in Tuesday’s victory over No. 1 Baylor, scored 13 more points Thursday, all in the first half. Arms, who played for schools at the junior college, Division II and Division I level before transferring to Tech, has emerged as one of the team’s more effective scorers with a blend of shooting, athleticism and shiftiness that allows him to get off his shots in isolation situations.
“He was great on the offensive end,” Mark Adams said of Arms after the game. “We’re just seeing the beginning of some great things Adonis is gonna do.”
Arms’ scoring has been particularly valuable in recent games due to the absence of Terrence Shannon Jr. Shannon, who has not played since December 14 against Arkansas State, was out for warm-ups Thursday but did not play in the game.
Even without him, Texas Tech’s offense flowed smoothly Thursday. The Red Raiders passed the ball well, played under control and took shots without hesitation when they were open. They made 50 percent of their shots and nine 3-pointers, a comforting sign after they did not manage more than four three-balls in any of their first three Big 12 games.
Kevin Obanor made three of those 3-pointers and led the team with 17 points, good for his second-highest scoring output as a Red Raider. Obanor had struggled to shoot the ball in 2021-22 as well as he did last season for Oral Roberts, but he launched the ball confidently and accurately in Thursday’s win.
“I know I can shoot but at times I’ve got to continue to fine-tune and continue to have confidence that the shot’s going to go in,” he said.
On the other end, Texas Tech stymied the OSU offense for most of the game, holding the Cowboys to 32.1 percent shooting from the field. The Cowboys are not a potent outside shooting team and struggled to score against a Red Raider defense that has protected the paint effectively all year.
Mark Adams has routinely coaxed strong performances from up and down his roster and Thursday was no different. It was Marcus Santos-Silva doing damage off the bench against the Cowboys. The super-senior big man recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Texas Tech showed Saturday and Tuesday that it can beat the Big 12’s upper echelon. With a 21-point win Thursday, it proved that it can hammer the conference’s middle class as well.