LAS VEGAS – Down 10 at halftime, Texas Tech closed to within two with two minutes to play but couldn’t make the final push as Iowa earned a 72-61 win over the No. 12-ranked Red Raiders in the first round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational on Thursday at the Orleans Arena.
The Red Raiders (5-1) were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten after seeing the Hawkeyes (5-1) hit 11 3-pointers and limit Tech to a season-low 32.8 percent shooting. Iowa led by as many as 15 in the first half and finished the game shooting 41.1 percent from the field and going 11-for-27 from beyond the arc.
“Before, we were the hunters. Now we are the hunted,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “I didn’t like our start tonight. In the second half, we played Texas Tech basketball and we played smarter. I give Iowa credit. We respect their team.”
Texas Tech will now play at 9:30 p.m. (CT) on Friday in the consolation game of the Las Vegas Invitational against Creighton.
Chris Clarke recorded a double-double by leading the Red Raiders with a season-high 11 points and 10 rebounds while also adding five assists. TJ Holyfield and Kyler Edwards each had 10 points in the loss and Terrence Shannon, Jr. had nine points and nine rebounds. Davide Moretti and Jahmi’us Ramsey were both limited to single-digit scoring for the first time with Moretti at eight points and Ramsey scoring seven. Ramsey left the game in the second half with an injury, while Moretti was just 2-for-8 from the field with both of his makes coming from beyond the arc.
Clarke scored nine of his points and grabbed seven rebounds in the second half to help the Red Raiders fight their way back. Trailing 36-26 at halftime, the Red Raiders were down six at 36-30 when Moretti drilled a 3-pointer. Iowa kept answering though and wouldn’t let the Red Raiders get any closer until a pair of Holyfield free throws cut it to five with 8:49 remaining. Tech made its run at the Hawkeyes at the five-minute mark with Edwards hitting a jumper to take it to 52-48 and then a pair of Kevin McCullar free throws had the game at 52-50. Iowa responded though and had the lead back to eight with a Bohannon 3-pointer with three minutes to play.
Tech’s final run brought the eight-point game to two with Shannon scoring seven straight points, including five free throws. His final pair of free throws brought the game to 61-59 with 1:58 to play, but once again Iowa responded by closing out the game on an 11-2 run.
The Red Raiders finished the game shooting 17-for-22 from the field, led by Shannon who was 7-for-8 from the line and Moretti, Holyfield and McCullar who were each 2-for-2. Moretti is now 13-for-13 from the free-throw line this season.
Jordan Bohannon led the Hawkeyes with 20 points after making four 3-pointers, while Luka Garza recorded a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Joe Wieskamp also hit four 3-pointers for Iowa and finished with 16 points and CJ Fredrick added 10 with two 3-pointers.
Texas Tech trailed 36-26 at halftime after witnessing Iowa make seven 3-pointers and the Red Raiders not making one until Ramsey connected with 55 second remaining. The Hawkeyes, who led by as many as 15 in the first half, finished the opening 20 minutes of play 7-for-15 on 3-pointers, while Tech was 1-for-12 and had also committed eight turnovers. Holyfield the Red Raiders with eight points after going 4-for-6 from the field and Ramsey had seven points and four rebounds. Ramsey was 3-for-8 from the field, including going 1-for-4 on 3-pointers. Tech had eight assists on 11 shots in the first half led by Clarke with three and Edwards two. Wieskamp led Iowa at the break with 13 points and three 3-pointers, while Bohannon had nine points on three 3-pointers.