LUBBOCK, Texas -- The Texas Tech Red Raiders dominated the second half on the way to an 87-37 victory against the Incarnate Word Cardinals in the season-opener on Tuesday night at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Grad transfer Tariq Owens, who had six blocks on the night, led a strong defensive effort. Texas Tech held the Cardinals to seven points in the second half.
The Red Raiders started off slow on both ends of the court, allowing the Cardinals to score 30 points.
“We had some hard words to the guys at halftime,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “We weren’t pleased. We made some adjustments, but you got to give the players credit. They knew we didn’t play our best half the first half. You got to give Incarnate Word credit, they had it spaced out in the first half. They shot a good percentage – so, it’s not always what you do bad, sometimes you got to understand the opponents pretty good, too.”
The Cardinals were able to hold sophomore Jarrett Culver to only seven points in the first half, but Culver bounced back and finished the with 16, making 60 percent of his field goals and 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Senior Brandone Francis was aggressive on the defensive front by grabbing five rebounds and totaling three steals. He also scored 13 points on the night.
“It started on defense,” Francis said. “We just brought a whole other intensity in the floor. We got a couple steals and just got going defensively.”
The Red Raiders turned a 9-point lead at the break into a 50-point victory. Texas Tech out-rebounded the Cardinals 33-28 and had 15 fewer turnovers.
The Red Raiders also tallied 13 steals and 11 blocks on the night, almost breaking a record for most blocks in a single game (12) set in 2013 and 1998.
Texas Tech continues its first week of regular-season action at 8 p.m. Friday against Mississippi State Valley back at the United Supermarkets Arena.