It will feel like old times when Texas Tech hosts old Southwest Conference rival Rice on Saturday night at the Red Raiders’ former home court at Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. It’s the first game for the Red Raiders at the Coliseum since 1999 and they’ll wear throwback uniforms for the special game.
The Red Raiders have won back-to-back games thanks to an aggressive approach on both sides of the ball. “On the offensive end, (that’s) executing plays, passing the ball, getting everybody touches, shooting good shots,” senior guard Justin Gray told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “On the defensive end, just being aggressive - forcing them to make tough shots, forcing them to turn the ball over.” Texas Tech leads the series 64-28, including an 85-84 win last year in the first meeting between the teams since the Southwest Conference dissolved in 1996. Rice’s leading scorer Connor Cashaw tied a career high with 27 points as the Owls snapped a three-game skid with Thursday’s win against Division II St. Edward’s.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, No TV
ABOUT RICE (3-7): Cashaw leads the Owls with 16.1 points and 6.7 rebounds and has two double-doubles this season. Guard A.J. Lapray, a grad transfer from Pepperdine, contributes 11.1 points but hasn’t played the past three games. Sophomore guard Ako Adams adds 9.8 points, but the Owls have struggled with turnovers (17.6) and 3-point shooting (29 percent).
ABOUT TEXAS TECH (8-1): Senior guard Keenan Evans (17.7 points, 3.6 assists) and freshman guard Jarrett Culver (10.3 points off the bench) lead a deep Texas Tech roster. The Red Raiders have 10 players averaging 14.2 minutes and all but one of those average at least five points. The Red Raiders force 18.4 turnovers per game and are holding opponents to 61.1 points with the nation’s ninth-best field-goal defense (36.4 percent).
1. Texas Tech has won 35 straight non-conference home games and 29 of them have been by double digits.
2. Evans has scored in double figures in eight of the nine games this season.
3. The Red Raiders have won eight straight against Rice, including the last seven as SWC foes.
PREDICTION: Texas Tech 90, Rice 60