Senior guard Keenan Evans scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half to lead No. 14 Texas Tech to a 70-63 victory over South Carolina on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge at Colonial Life Arena at Columbia, S.C.
Freshman guard Zhaire Smith added 11 points and seven rebounds as the Red Raiders (17-4) outplayed the Gamecocks down the stretch. Texas Tech used a late 11-0 burst to turn a four-point deficit into a 68-61 lead.
Junior forward Chris Silva scored 16 points and freshman forward Justin Minaya added 11 for South Carolina (13-8).
Evans was 4 of 6 from 3-point range and hit all 13 of his free-throw attempts for the Red Raiders, who shot 42.6 percent from the field. The Gamecocks shot 37.3 percent.
Evans buried a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:12 left to give the Red Raiders a 62-61 lead and he followed up with a driving three-point play with 47 seconds remaining. Junior center Norense Odiase made 3 of 4 free throws to push the lead to 68-61.
Texas Tech led by eight points after Smith’s dunk with 17:08 left before the Gamecocks went on an 11-2 run. Senior guard Frank Booker capped the burst with a 3-pointer with 12:29 remaining to give South Carolina its first lead of the game at 42-41.
A three-point play by sophomore forward Maik Kotsar gave the Gamecocks a 55-51 lead with 8:16 to play. Freshman forward Felipe Haase drained a 3-pointer to make it 58-53 with 6:21 remaining and South Carolina stayed ahead until Evans hit the go-ahead 3-pointer.
Evans scored 10 first-half points as the Red Raiders led 30-26 at the break.
Evans buried a 3-pointer to give Texas Tech a 14-9 lead just prior to the midway point of the half. South Carolina tied the score at 14 on Minaya’s three-point play with 7:51 to play before the Red Raiders rattled off an 11-3 burst to take an eight-point edge with 4:29 remaining.
The Gamecocks pulled with 27-26 on Booker’s 3-pointer with 30 seconds left but Evans was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with one second left and converted all three free throws for the four-point halftime lead.
--Field Level Media