No. 22 Texas Tech will need to get back to the drawing board after a rare defensive collapse led to a stunning 10-point loss to Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden. Atoning for that effort won’t be easy, as the Red Raiders host a Nevada team Tuesday night that has reeled off eight consecutive wins to open the year.
Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard didn’t have much to say following last Friday’s defeat - “We wish we could have played better” was the main takeaway from his time with reporters - but the Red Raiders defense did plenty of talking itself. After coming into the game ranked fourth in the nation in points against per game (55.3) and second in opposition field-goal percentage (33.5), Texas Tech allowed Seton Hall to rack up 89 points on nearly 51 percent shooting. Nevada should prove to be an equally game opponent; the Wolf Pack are averaging a robust 85 points during their school-record winning streak to open the season, and are winning by an average margin of nearly 18 points. Nevada is coming off a 76-65 win at UC Irvine on Saturday night.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Fox College Sports
ABOUT NEVADA (8-0): The Wolf Pack’s 1-2 punch of Caleb Martin (19.0 ppg) and Jordan Caroline (18.4) garner much of the attention, and with good reason: Martin is shooting 50 percent from 3-point range on 5.5 attempts per game, while Caroline erupted for 24 points and 13 rebounds in the triumph over UC Irvine and has three double-doubles through his first eight games. Junior forward Cody Martin has also been effective in the early going, averaging 14.6 points to go along with 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.1 blocked shots. Nevada ranks seventh in the nation with a 1.68 assist-to-turnover ratio.
ABOUT TEXAS TECH (6-1): Red Raiders leading scorer Keenan Evans (15.9 ppg) poured in 21 points in the loss to the Pirates, a terrific bounceback effort after being held scoreless in an 0-for-8 performance from the field five nights earlier against Savannah State. Evans also paces Texas Tech in steals (2.0) and has multiple swipes in each of his previous four games. Jarrett Culver contributes 11.9 points per game as a freshman and is heating up of late, averaging 18.7 points while knocking down 11 shots from beyond the arc over his previous three outings.
1. Evans averages 25.0 points in three games away from Lubbock.
2. The Red Raiders average 9.4 steals as a team, tied for 18th nationally.
3. Nevada ranks 19th in the nation in turnovers allowed per game (11.0).
PREDICTION: Texas Tech 72, Nevada 68