Texas Tech knocks off No. 22 Nevada in OT
Texas Tech trailed No. 22 Nevada for more than 36 minutes, but the Red Raiders found a way to claim an overtime victory.
Guard Keenan Evans scored 17 points in the second half and eight more in overtime to lead Texas Tech to an 82-76 win over the Wolf Pack on Tuesday night at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas.
Evans paced Texas Tech with 32 points and eight rebounds.
“(Evans) played like a senior, played like a guy that has a lot of grit and confidence,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “He played like one of the best players in the country tonight.”
Nevada never trailed in the first half and stayed in control for most of the second half. The Wolf Pack went ahead 50-39 when forward Caleb Martin nailed a 3-pointer with 12:48 left in regulation.
That was when the Red Raiders (7-1) went on a 20-8 run and took the lead, 59-58, when guard Davide Moretti nailed a 3-pointer from the right side.
Caleb Martin scored 28 points to lead Nevada (8-1). Wolf Pack forward Cody Martin finished with 22, and guard Kendall Stephens added 15.
Texas Tech held Nevada guard Jordan Caroline to six points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Red Raiders guard Niem Stevenson finished with 11 points and forward Zhaire Smith added 10 to join Evans in double digits.
Following Moretti’s trey, the Wolf Pack regained a four-point edge when Cody Martin hit a jumper and Stephens made a 3-pointer on back-to-back trips down the floor.
The Red Raiders kept battling and tied it at 70 when forward Justin Gray hit a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left.
Texas Tech forward Zach Smith blocked Caroline’s attempt at a game-winner with less than five seconds left.
“It ended up being a good college basketball game with two teams that really wanted to win,” Beard said. “I think you’ve got to give our guys a lot of credit for making just enough plays down the stretch.”
Nevada nailed five of its first six attempts from 3-point range, helping the Wolf Pack control the first half.
Stephens hit Nevada’s fifth 3-pointer of the half, which gave the Wolf Pack a 24-13 lead with 10:37 left before the break. That was Nevada’s largest lead of the first 20 minutes.
“We knew that the first couple minutes were going to be important especially with us being on the road,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman said.
%he Wolf Pack cooled off from beyond the arc and finished 12 of 30 from 3-point range.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech consistently got in the paint and to the free-throw line. The Red Raiders hit 26 of 38 free throws while Nevada made 14 of 17.
“The difference in the game was free throws attempted,” Musselman said. “We’re not an overly physical team, but I think Texas Tech is a really physical team that does a great job. If you look at the differences on the stat sheets, it’s the foul shots.”
After falling behind in the first half, Texas Tech responded with an 8-0 run, highlighted by forward Tommy Hamilton’s 3-pointer from near the top of the key. Guard Jarrett Culver hit a free throw to cap the run and cut Nevada’s lead to three with 7:23 left until halftime.
Nevada kept up the pressure, holding Texas Tech without a field goal for almost five minutes and re-establishing a double-digit lead when a Caleb Martin layup made it 36-26.
The Red Raiders then scored the last five points before the break, including a jumper by Evans that sliced the Wolf Pack’s halftime lead to 36-31.
Caleb Martin scored 12 and Cody Martin added 10 to lead Nevada in the first 20 minutes.
NOTES: Texas Tech is now 5-0 all-time vs. Nevada. The Red Raiders and Wolf Pack last met in 1990 when the Bob Knight-coached Texas Tech team defeated Nevada 66-54 in Lubbock. ... Nevada’s appearance at No. 22 in the AP Top 25 marked the Wolf Pack’s first ranking in a poll since they finished the 2006-07 season at No. 21 in the coaches poll. ... Texas Tech played its first home game against a Top 25 nonconference opponent since No. 9 Arizona visited Lubbock on Dec. 1, 2012. The Wildcats won that game, 85-57.