January 27, 2018 / 7:45 PM / a year ago

Evans scores 31 as No. 14 Texas Tech stops South Carolina

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.

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