The Red Raiders stayed unbeaten on their Canadian Tour with a seven-point win versus Carleton.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA –
Keenan Evans piled up 16 points, six assists and three steals as the Texas Tech men's basketball team overcame an early deficit and worked its way to a 67-60 victory over Carleton University Wednesday at the Ravens Nest.
The Red Raiders remained unblemished and improved to 3-0 on their four-game Canadian Tour. Texas Tech collected a 54-46 win over McGill University on Sunday in Montreal followed by an 88-53 rout of Laval University on Monday in Quebec City.
"I thought we did some good things especially during the second half," head coach Tubby Smith said. "We had some athletic plays, and I thought Keenan played very well. I was impressed with Carleton and how hard they played. It was a great test for us, and our kids learned a lot about themselves. I was happy and pleased with our play."
Evans pumped in his team-leading 16 points on a 7-for-10 shooting performance as the sophomore guard was able to drive the lane with four of his seven field goals inside the paint. His six assists came against zero turnovers in 26 minutes.
Off the bench, Jordan Jackson collected nine of his 12 points during the second half and was 4-of-5 from the floor. He reached double figures for the second time in three games on the Canadian Tour. Jackson soured for a one-handed highlight reel dunk where he posterized a Carleton defender late in the third quarter.
Devaugntah Williams turned in a solid all-around effort with nine points, three rebounds and two assists. Toddrick Gotcher, C.J. Williamson and Zach Smith came away with six points apiece. Gotcher and Williamson handed out two assists, while Gotcher and Smith garnered three rebounds each.
On the interior, Norense Odiase added six points and hauled down seven of his game-leading 10 rebounds on the defensive end.
Carleton, the 10-time Canadian National Champions dating back to 2002, were led by Guillaume Boucard's game-high 21 points. Connor Wood secured 16 points and seven rebounds whereas Kaza Kajami-Keane notched 14 points and seven assists for the Ravens.
As a team, Texas Tech compiled a 28-for-61 shooting clip but made 23 of its final 45 attempts over the final three quarters. Conversely, Carleton was held to 17-of-50 from the field during the last three stanzas after the Ravens knocked down seven of their first 15 shots.
The Red Raiders were very stingy with their perimeter defense and forced Carleton to misfire on its final 19 three-pointers following the first quarter. Texas Tech also claimed a 37-28 rebounding advantage over the second, third and fourth periods.
After falling behind 19-12 at the end of the first quarter, the Red Raiders kicked it into high gear with 12 of the next 14 points over the opening six minutes of the second period.
Williams ignited the run with a driving layup through traffic followed by Evans stepback 10-foot jumper. Then, Williams fired a bullet pass to Odiase for a layup. Evans drained a pair of free throws to bring Tech within a point at 21-20 with 5:06 remaining.
Williamson and Evans capped the flurry with back-to-back buckets in the lane to give the Red Raiders a three-point advantage. Carleton responded with a 6-2 spurt to take a 27-26 lead into the locker room.
Texas Tech continued to push tempo during the early moments of the third quarter and regained the lead for good on its first possession as Evans delivered a bounce pass to Smith for a thunderous two-handed slam in transition.
Following a missed free throw, Jackson capped the third quarter in style with his explosive one-handed jam to give the Red Raiders a 45-39 advantage.
Texas Tech kept the momentum and ripped off 12 of the first 16 points of the fourth quarter to stretch its lead to 57-45 at the 5:44 mark. Williams dialed up a three-pointer, and Evans broke down his defender to bury a 16-foot jumper at the top of the key to bookend the run.
The Red Raiders sank 4-of-6 at the charity stripe, and Donovan Ham hit a layup off of press breaker play inside the closing 38 seconds to salt away the seven-point victory.
"We want to be an up-tempo team, and we want to run the floor," Smith said. "We have to create some offense from our defense. Long shots bring long rebounds, we were able to get the ball out in transition pretty good. We started finishing around the basket in the second half."
Texas Tech concludes its four-game Canadian Tour Thursday against Ottawa University. Tipoff is on-tap for 6 p.m. CT.
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2015 Texas Tech Men's Basketball Canadian Tour Schedule
Date, Opponent, Time (CT)
Sunday, August 16, McGill University, W 54-46
Monday, August 17, Laval University, W 88-53
Wednesday, August 19, Carleton University, W 67-60
Thursday, August 20, Ottawa University, 6 p.m.