SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Closing out the 1st day of the 2015 Puerto Rico Tip-Off fan got a chance to see a thriller between the and Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Jordan Loveridge was 3 for 3 from the three -point to help his team take an early 18-8 lead. The game seem to be getting away from Red Raiders until Devaugnth Williams hit a key three-point to start the comeback down 24-15. The defense started forcing turnover and blocking shots and the next thing you know they were back in the game 24-19.Lorenzo Bonam was not a fan of the comeback and pushed the lead to 28-21. Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak stated, “I’ve expected that not just in this game but in fairness to him, and we’ve had some nice little meetings as of late, he’s thinking about a lot of things. It’s not easy.” Texas Tech continued to shoot and were only down 36-33 at the half. Isaiah Manderson and Aaron Ross coming off the bench helped a lot.
The 2nd half Utah showed their dominance by jumping out to a 42-33 lead. Toddrick Gotcher was only 1-6 from 3 point land but the one he made with 16:34 left help keep the Red Raiders competitive. Both teams continued to trade runs but in the end Utah won the game 73-63. Utah’s Brandon Taylor stated “Our intensity just picked up and we got down into it defensively and we tried to slow down a little bit on offense and really just capitalize and hold onto the basketball as much as we could. We dialed in defensively and offensively.”
Coaches final words
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak – “I just thought it was maybe two different halves. I think we got outrebounded by seven or eight in the first half and we ended up outrebounding them by seven for the game. There were obviously a lot of missed shots, neither team shot the ball that well percentage-wise and I think that was the difference in the second half, making a concerted effort to collectively rebound and limit them to one shot. That was really big.”
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith – “It’s good to be back here in Puerto Rico again. No one likes losing but I’m very impressed with Larry Krystkowiak and their team. They’re a very solid team. I’m proud of how our guys competed and how hard they played. They dominated the boards – they were like a plus-14 in the second half and that gave them some second opportunities and third opportunities. ”
Up next for Texas Tech Red Raiders will be Mississippi State Friday at 6:00 pm
Up next for 16 ranked Utah Utes will be Miami. The winner of this game has a great chance of winning it all.