Kerwin Roach II jumped from the pregame injured list to the top of the stat sheet, scoring 20 points off the bench to lead Texas to a 66-58 upset victory over No. 8 Texas Tech on Wednesday in Big 12 Conference play at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.
Texas led just 49-45 with 6:56 to play but forged an 11-5 run fueled by a pair of 3-pointers from Eric Davis Jr. to create separation and a 60-50 advantage at the 3:30 mark. Roach all but clinched the win with a resounding dunk with 2:06 to play, and the Longhorns waltzed home in the final stretch.
Texas has won 22 consecutive home games against Texas Tech, with the Red Raiders’ most recent win in Austin achieved during the 1995-96 season when both schools were in the Southwest Conference.
Mohamed Bamba added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Texas (12-6, 3-3 Big 12) while Dylan Osetkowski hit for 12 points. The Longhorns outshot Texas Tech 51.1 percent to 38.2 percent and had a 32-20 advantage in points in the paint.
Jarrett Culver’s 16 points led Texas Tech (15-3, 4-2). Brandone Francis and Zaire Smith scored 13 points each, and Keenan Evans added 11 points for the Red Raiders.
Texas, buoyed by the return of Roach (whose availability for the game was announced five minutes before tip-off), let its defense dictate the action in the first half. The Longhorns limited the Red Raiders to 39 percent shooting and forced seven turnovers while building a 29-25 lead at halftime.
Bamba led the Longhorns with eight points before the break (six of those on thundering dunks including one at the first-half buzzer) and also took six rebounds. Francis led all scorers with 10 first-half points off the bench.
A three-point play by Osetkowski with 12:36 to play boosted Texas’ lead to 45-32, but the Red Raiders charged back, scoring eight straight points to get to within 45-40 at the 8:55 mark.
Both teams hit the road for their next games in the Big 12 gauntlet, with Texas playing at No. 6 West Virginia on Saturday and Texas Tech traveling to Iowa State, also on Saturday.
--Field Level Media