De'Vion Harmon scored a career-high 25 points and Kevin Obanor added 19 points and seven rebounds to help lead Texas Tech to a 74-67 win over No. 6 Texas on Monday at the United Supermarkets Arena.
The Red Raiders (14-12, 3-10 Big 12) have now won three straight home games over ranked conference opponents and three straight over the Longhorns (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) in games played in Lubbock – along with winning 8 of the last 10 over UT at home. Tech evened the season series with UT after a 72-70 loss on January 14 in Austin where it led by nine at halftime. On Monday, Tech led 44-35 for another nine-point halftime lead but this time fought off a comeback to secure the win.
"A lot of teams get in this situation, get down, and get in a hole and it's hard to get out of that," said Texas Tech coach Mark Adams who is now 30-4 at home leading the program. "But these guys believe in themselves. There's a saying, with excellence comes great adversity. We've had a lot of adversity and not to say we're excellent yet but we're showing that path we're chasing greatness and we want to keep improving."
The Red Raiders now have 28 wins over Top-10 opponents in program history, including earning one in nine straight seasons. Tech was 0-4 at home to start Big 12 play, but have now run off three straight wins over No. 13 Iowa State, No. 12 Kansas State and No. 6 Texas.
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Harmon scored 21 of his 25 points in the first half to lead the Red Raiders, while Fardaws Aimaq had 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Obanor finished the game 5-for-10 from the field, hit two 3-pointers and went 7-for-7 at the free-throw line. Texas had tied the game at 64-64 with 4:16 remaining before an Obanor dunk off an assist from Aimaq sparked a 6-0 run that was capped by another Obanor dunk. Tech led 70-67 with 1:03 remaining before Harmon drove in for a layup to push the lead to five and Obanor made two free throws with 18 seconds on the clock to seal the win.
"We're a team that fights," Obanor said. "Coach will use the analogy of it like a boxing match, 18 rounds and you get beat seven, eight times. It speaks more to the character, and to the people that we are to get back up. I guarantee you that a lot of teams would have folded, they would have cared about stats, worry about going to the next level, they would have quit. To have that sense of urgency, that mindset, just to keep going and not give up."
Tech finished the game shooting 13-for-14 at the free-throw line and owned a 41-29 rebounding advantage. Along with seven 3-pointers, the Red Raiders dominated inside with a 36-18 scoring advantage in the paint. Jaylon Tyson and D'Maurian Williams added five points each, while Lamar Washington provided three assists. Tyson also provided six rebounds and freshman Elijah Fisher battled for five rebounds and scored four points.
"Nothing is sweeter than getting hit and bouncing back," Adams told the team in the locker room after the game. "Comebacks are awesome. You guys are on the way back. This could be a great story. You guys stuck together."
Harmon, who had scored 23 points three times in his career, finished the game shooting 9-for-17 from the field, 3-for-4 on 3-pointers and 4-for-4 at the free-throw line. A buzzer-beater to end halftime gave him 21 through 20 minutes and sent Tech to the locker room up nine.
Marcus Carr led Texas with 23 points and six assists, while Dylan Disu had 11 as the only two Longhorns in double figures. UT shot 23-for-59 from the field, went 11-for-27 on 3-pointers and were 10-of-17 on free throws. Texas had only six turnovers in the game, but couldn't overcome the 12-rebound advantage Tech had over them.
Tech took a 44-35 lead into halftime with Harmon draining a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give him 21 points at the break. Harmon was 3-for-3 on 3-pointers in the half with Tech going 7-for-12 from beyond the arc, including Obanor hitting two and going into the break with 11 points and five rebounds. Tech owned a 20-11 rebounding advantage and a 14-8 scoring margin in the paint. Williams had five points with one 3-pointer while Jennings had the other. Tech was 14-for-30 (46.7 percent) from the field. Texas was 13-for-29 (44.8 percent). Carr led UT with 11 points at the break, while Rice had eight off the bench for the Longhorns. UT was 6-for-11 on 3-pointers.
Tech is now 11-4 at home this season and improved to 37-29 all-time over Texas on its home court. The Red Raiders have now won two straight Big 12 games for the first time this season.