Texas Tech coach Chris Beard didn't expect his team to walk out of Allen Field-house with a victory Tuesday night in Lawrence, Kansas, especially considering the Red Raiders had never done so in school history.
"What I did expect," Beard said, "was to play hard and play well."
Turns out that was a winning formula after all.
Keenan Evans scored 15 points, Norense Odiase and Justin Gray had 12 apiece, and the No. 18 Red Raiders never trailed in beating the No. 10 Jayhawks 85-73 for their first win at the Phog in 18 tries.
"It's special because of how much respect we have for this program," Beard said. "This is sacred ground in college basketball, so to come in and win means a lot to our program."
The Red Raiders (13-1, 2-0 Big 12) built a 16-point lead midway through the first half, then found an answer every time the 3-pointdependent Jayhawks (11-3, 1-1) tried to mount a second-half charge.
Zach Smith had 11 points and Jarrett Culver contributed 10 for Texas Tech, which has won its first two Big 12 games for the first time in a decade. The Red Raiders also snapped a four-game skid in league road openers by winning their seventh straight game in the toughest of venues.
Devonte Graham led the Jayhawks with 27 points, but a lot of that came at the foul line, where he was 13 of 13. The senior guard struggled from the field, just like the rest of his team — they were 6 of 26 from beyond the arc and missed all 12 of their
3-point attempts in the second half.
Svi Mykhailiuk had 11 points for Kansas before fouling out. Udoka Azubuike also scored 11.
"We just came out flat," Graham said. "They did a good job of coming out and hitting shots, getting stops early. Offensively they were just knocking everything down."
The loss snapped the Jayhawks' 16game win streak against Texas Tech, and gave coach Bill Self's team two losses in the Phog in the same season for the first time since 2006-07.
Everything went Texas Tech's way in the first half — every loose ball, rebound and extra possession — and Beard's team began to grow in confidence with each passing minute.
"I don't want to take anything away from Arizona State and Kentucky," Self said, "but that could be the best team we've played this season."
STATS AND STREAKS
The Red Raiders had a 44-29 advantage on the boards, including 18 offensive rebounds. ... Texas Tech outscored the Jayhawks 26-8 in turnovers and 15-4 in second-chance points. ... The Red Raiders came in averaging 39 points off the bench. They had 42 against Kansas. ... Kansas G Lagerald Vick was 1 for 9 from the field and 0 for 6 from beyond the arc. He finished with two points.
"I don't know if we have an edge on Kansas in anything. We have Whataburger in Texas. I don't think y'all do. That's an advantage." — Beard, refer ring to the popular fast-food restaurant chain.
Texas Tech has staked a claim through two games for Big 12 superiority. The Red Raiders beat then-No. 18 Baylor 77-53 in their league opener last Friday, giving them a pair of wins over top teams.
Kansas fell in love with the 3-pointer again with ugly results. The Jayhawks' lack of interior depth gives them little to fall back on when the jumpers start bouncing off the iron.
A look at the upcoming week around the Big 12:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 6 West Virginia on Saturday (6:15 p.m., ESPN2). With sensational freshman Trae Young leading the nation with 29.4 points and 10.6 assists per game, the Sooners (12-1, 2-0 Big 12) have already won more games than last season. The Mountaineers (13-1, 2-0) haven't lost since a drubbing at the hands of Texas A&M in the opener, and they're the very early favorites to win the league after starting with road wins at Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
LOOKING AHEAD: After losing at Allen Fieldhouse to No. 18 Texas Tech by double digits, 10th-ranked Kansas travels to No. 16 TCU on Saturday (8:15 p.m., ESPN2). The Horned Frogs held off Baylor 81-78 in overtime on Tuesday. Tech, which hosts Kansas State on Saturday, leads the league with a scoring margin of 23.1 points per game. The Red Raiders (13-1, 2-0), the only team other than Oklahoma and West Virginia to win their first two Big 12 games, are home Saturday (3 p.m., FSSW+) against Kansas State (11-3, 1-1) before playing both the Sooners and Mountaineers next week.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Redshirt freshman forward Cameron Lard might be the silver lining in what's shaping up to be a rough season for Iowa State. Lard had 23 points and 16 rebounds off the bench in a loss to Texas, and coach Steve Prohm hinted after the game that Lard wall likely be a focal point of Iowa State's offense in the near future. Lard is eighth in the Big 12 in rebounds (7.0), seventh in blocked shots (1.7) and second in field goal percentage (.659) — despite averaging less than 20 minutes a game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Young has scored at least 20 points in 12 straight games, the first Oklahoma player to do that. He has eight double-doubles this season, and on Wednesday night was only one rebound short of a triple-double.... Texas Tech is allowing only 58.2 points a game, and that's not just a tempo thing. The Red Raiders are letting opponents convert only 36 percent of their shots, the lowest mark in the league. ... The Big 12 players other than Young averaging double-doubles are Texas freshman Mohamed Bamba (11.7 ppg and Big 12-leading 10.7 rpg) and Baylor senior Jo Lual-Acuil (16.1 ppg, 10.1 lpg). ... Kansas is shooting a conference-high 51.7 percent from the field and 44.2 percent from 3-point range. West Virginia is averaging 15 offensive rebounds, and its press is helping it lead the Big 12 with a turnover margin of plus-8.4.
ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: Tex as Tech fired coach Candi Whitaker on Monday. The Red Raiders started 6-7 this season and were thrashed by Oklahoma and Baylor by more than 4( points to open league play. The Lady Bears are the Big 12's highest-ranked team at No. 6, followed by Texas at No 8. The Lady Bears have won their first three conference games by an average of more than 39 points.