Texas Tech improves to 6-0 win 31-point win over Northern Colorado

LUBBOCK, Texas – Kyler Edwards didn’t miss a shot and finished with a career-high 19 points while Jarrett Culver scored 20 and had six assists to lead Texas Tech to a 93-62 win over Northern Colorado on Saturday at the United Supermarkets Arena.

The Red Raiders (6-0) shot 60.7 percent from the field, including going 10-for-16 on 3-pointers as they extended their non-conference home winning streak to 42 games and handed the Bears (3-1) their first loss of the season and held them to 40 points below their season average. Texas Tech’s shooting percentage was the best it had in a game since shooting 61.4 percent in a win over Idaho State on Nov. 25, 2016 and the first over 60 since last year against Northwestern.

“I was really pleased to get the win tonight,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “They were a team that had our full respect and attention. They are a team that is set up to win games in March. They won 26 games last year. I thought our guys were dialed in for the most part with a couple of good days of preparation.”

Edwards finished the game 7-for-7, including going 4-for-4 on 3-pointers while Deshawn Corprew also had a career-night with 13 points after going 6-for-7 from the field. A freshman from Arlington, Edwards came into the game averaging 4.8 points per game and with a season-best 10 points in the opener against Incarnate Word.

“It was just my night tonight,” Edwards said. “It could have been anyone’s night, but tonight was just my night. It just happen to be me tonight. Coach gives me confidence. He tells me my time is going to be coming one day, any game.”

Culver, who was coming off matching his career-high with 26 on Tuesday against Nebraska, shot 7-for-10 in the game with two 3-pointers and Brandone Francis was 5-for-7 and finished with 11 to give the Red Raiders four double-digit scorers in the game where the team went 37-for-61 from the field. Matt Mooney and Davide Moretti added seven points each with Mooney also grabbing five rebounds. Norense Odiase also had five rebounds and Tariq Owens added two blocks for the Red Raiders.

Edwards and Corprew led a bench that owned a 51-3 scoring advantage over the UNC bench in the game.

Northern Colorado came into Lubbock averaging 101 points per game but were limited to 62 by the Red Raider defense which held the Bears to 19-for-55 shooting and to only 4-for-24 on 3-pointers. Texas Tech has now limited back-to-back opponents to game where they were held well below their season averages after also holding Nebraska to only 52 points on Tuesday.

Culver has now scored in double-digits in all six games this season and now has 26 in his career. His 20-point performance was the seventh time in 43 games and he is now averaging 18.8 points per game and leads the Red Raiders with 26 assists. A sophomore from Lubbock, he is also leading the team by shooting 54.1 percent from the field.

Texas Tech, which had 12 players score, finished the game with six blocks with two coming from Owens and one each from Odiase, Edwards, Corprew and Avery Benson. Owens now has 15 blocked shots through only six games. The Red Raiders led 43-30 at halftime and would cruise to the win after only having six turnovers in the game and forcing 16 from the Bears. The Red Raiders have won all six of their games by double-digits with three wins of over 30 or more points and are now winning by a 27.5 margin.

Edwards led the Red Raiders with 11 points in the first half after shooting 4-for-4 from the field, including going 3-for-3 on 3-pointers. Francis added nine points on 4-for-5 shooting in the half and Corprew and Odiase both had six at halftime. The Red Raiders led by as many as 19 in the first half after shooting 59.4 percent from the field and going 5-for-8 on 3-pointers. Culver, who had one 3-pointer in the opening half, would hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer and finished with seven points and three assists at halftime.

Texas Tech will return to action next Saturday when it plays Memphis at the Air Force Reserves Hoophall Invitational in Miami. The Red Raiders then have three straight home games starting with Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the USA.

QUOTES
Chris Beard
On his team’s depth on Saturday:
“We’re a team of depth. We’ve got a nine or 10 man rotation right now and we also got some players that aren’t in the rotation right now that will be some really good players at some point. You know I would like to recognize those players at the end of the game. So speaking of the five guys at the end of the game did a great job. Those guys are a big part of our team and practice hard every day. We have a lot of confidence in those five guys. We want to have balance. We have a lot of players on our roster that we have a lot of confidence in. We can’t win in the Big 12 by only having one or two good players. You have to have a team of players that can play a role and get it done any given night.”

On the team’s effort against the Bears:
“It’s a game of spurts and what we are trying to get through is the 40 minutes. Tonight with the naked eye I think we played about 28 minutes instead of the 40. Fortunately that got the win tonight. There will be some games that we will have to play 38 of the 40 to be able to win. They spread you out, it’s not easy for those big guys but I thought we hung with them the best that we could.”

Deshawn Corprew
On his night with 13 points and four rebounds:
“It feels good. My teammates always lift me up. That’s why I came here. I came here to play my role and be there for the team. I just want to be a dog out there. I want to do the simple things. I want to go out there and do my best.”

On Tech’s defensive performance:
“I thought it was good. I thought we went out there and executed. Our defense went out there and stopped them from driving the ball and shooting it.”

Kyler Edwards
On Tech’s defensive performance:
“We knew their game was shooting threes. They hit a couple of them face to face. We tried to make them drive as much as possible.”

On his confidence level:
“It is always high, but coach gives me confidence. He tells me my time is going to be coming one day, any game. It was just my night tonight. It could have been anyone’s night, but tonight was just my night. It just happened to be me tonight.”

WES BLOOMQUIST

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