Texas Tech has snapped its three-game losing streak.Next on the agenda is halting its three-game slide in Big 12 play.The No. 14 Red Raiders look to post their first conference victory since Jan. 12 when they host TCU on Monday night in Lubbock, Texas.
Texas Tech (16-4, 4-3) dropped consecutive Big 12 contests to Iowa State, Baylor and Kansas State before notching a 67-64 victory over nonconference opponent Arkansas on Saturday.
Now the Red Raiders are hoping to recapture the form they displayed during a 15-1 start.
“Definitely feels great to get a win,” senior guard Matt Mooney said after the triumph over the Razorbacks. “Arkansas is a real good team so it feels good to get a win against them, but at the same time we got a lot of work to do to get better. TCU is a real good team so we really can’t celebrate for too long.”
The Horned Frogs (15-4, 3-3) were exceptional on defense during Saturday’s 55-50 win over Florida.TCU allowed its fewest points and recorded its lowest defensive field-goal percentage (30.6) in Jamie Dixon’s 2 1/2 seasons as coach.
The stingy effort was welcome with the Horned Frogs shooting just 36 percent from the field.
“I wouldn’t have believed it at the beginning of the year, but it’s been an emphasis all throughout the year that we were going to have to win some games defensively,” TCU junior guard Desmond Bane said after the win.
“You only hope to make every shot, but if your defense is consistent, you’ll be able to win games even if your shot isn’t falling like tonight.”
Sophomore forward Kouat Noi (22) and Bane (17) combined for 39 of the 55 points.
“There was only 55 points, so pretty much all were at good times,” Dixon said. “We didn’t have any to spare. I don’t know if I’ve ever won a game with 23 points in the second half.
“We’re not the perfect team yet. We’re working on it. Great win.”
Bane is leading the team with a 15.0-point average while Noi is close behind at 14.7.
Senior point guard Alex Robinson averages 12.9 points and 7.7 assists. He needs just 11 assists to pass the school’s career mark held by current graduate assistant coach Corey Santee (575 from 2001-05).
Robinson is also just 16 points away from reaching 1,000 career points. Bane also is closing in and needs 25.Texas Tech coach Chris Beard is a big fan of Robinson.
“Robinson is one of the best guards in our league, and he is probably the best pick-and-roll player in college basketball, in my opinion,” Beard said after the win over Arkansas.
“They’ve done a great job recruiting; they are a really good team. TCU is an NCAA tournament team, TCU is in the fight to win the Big 12 Conference … so in my opinion they are one of the best teams in the country. We will have to play really well.”
The Red Raiders received a career-best 21 points from sophomore guard Davide Moretti in the win over the Razorbacks. Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver made four 3-pointers while adding 15 points.
Culver has team-best averages of 18.5 points and 6.9 rebounds while Moretti (10.4) and Mooney (10.3) are also scoring in double digits.
Texas Tech won both of last season’s meetings and has prevailed in nine of the past 13 tussles.