PREVIEW: at Oklahoma State

PREVIEW: at Oklahoma State

LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 15-ranked Texas Tech is heading back to Oklahoma this week where the Red Raiders will play Oklahoma State at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater after earning a win over OU last Saturday in Norman.

The Red Raiders (19-5, 7-4 Big 12) are on a two-game winning streak with an 81-50 win over West Virginia last Monday at home before taking a 66-54 victory over the Sooners on the road. TTU is 4-23 all-time in Stillwater against the Cowboys (9-14, 2-8 Big 12) who lead the conference by shooting 38.6 percent on 3-pointers with 200 made this season. OSU is coming off an 84-72 loss at Kansas last Saturday and has dropped six straight Big 12 games coming into its first matchup against Tech this season. Tech is 3-3 on the road in conference play this season and is looking to beat OU and OSU in Oklahoma during the same season for the first time since 1997 and for only the second time ever. 

UP NEXT: Texas Tech will return home after its game against OSU to host Baylor at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders are 4-1 in conference play at home this season and have four home games remaining. Baylor hosts Oklahoma on Monday night before travelling to Lubbock. The Bears earned a 73-62 win over the Red Raiders back on Jan. 19 in Waco in the first meeting.

POLLS/STAT RANKINGS: After two double-digit conference wins last week Texas Tech has risen to No. 15 in the Associated Press Top-25 Poll and USA TODAY Coaches Poll and is at No. 12 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings. The Red Raiders improved to 13-1 at home with an 81-50 win over West Virginia last Monday and to 3-3 on the road in Big 12 play with a 66-54 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday in Norman. TTU, which is 3-1 in its last four conference games, was ranked No. 15 last week and has been ranked as high as No. 8 in the Week 10 and 11 AP Top-25 this season. The team has now been ranked in 12 straight polls after starting the season unranked.

Along with the national polls, Texas Tech continues to lead the nation in defense by limiting opponents to 36.2 percent shooting and is third by holding teams to 57.3 points per game and fifth in 3-point defense (27.3%). The Red Raiders are second in the Big 12 with 4.9 blocks per game (23rd nationally) and with 7.4 steals per game. Tech has 178 total steals this season which leads the conference and is 72nd nationally while its 2.9 turnover margin is second. Individually, Tariq Owens leads the Big 12 and is 10th in the country with 59 blocked shots and Matt Mooney is second in the conference with 1.79 steals per game. Jarrett Culver is currently third in the Big 12 in scoring (17.6 ppg.) and fourth with 90 total assists. Owens' 59 blocks is currently the fourth most in a season by a Red Raider behind only Tony Battie who set the single-season record with 71 blocks in the 1996-97 season, Brodney Kennard who had 69 blocks in 1999-2000 and Battie who is third on the list with 68 blocks in the 1995-96 campaign.  

Tennessee (22-1) is the top-ranked team in the nation for the fourth straight week, followed by Duke (21-2), Gonzaga (23-2), Virginia (20-2) and Kentucky (20-3) to round out this week's top-5. Kansas comes in one spot ahead of the Red Raiders at No. 14 with an 18-6 overall record after falling 74-67 at Kansas State last Tuesday in Manhattan, Kansas before earning an 84-72 win over Oklahoma State on Saturday in Lawrence. The Wildcats returned to the national rankings at No. 18 after their win over KU during the week and then a 70-63 victory at Baylor on Saturday. Iowa State (18-6) is at No. 23 this week to give the Big 12 four ranked teams in the poll. Virginia currently leads the nation by holding opponents to 54.1 points per game, while Michigan is just ahead of Tech by limiting its opponents 57.1 points per game.

SERIES HISTORY: Oklahoma State leads the all-time series 44-20 over the Red Raiders after the two programs split games last year with the home teams winning. Texas Tech will look to win its first game in Stillwater since a 71-61 victory in 2016 that snapped a 13-game losing streak by the Red Raiders at the Gallagher-Iba Arena. OSU is 23-4 all-time at home against the Red Raiders. The series between TTU and OSU started on Jan. 1, 1937 with the Cowboys earning a 38-19 win in Oklahoma City.

PLAYER NOTES: Jarrett Culver leads the Red Raiders with 17.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game after scoring 13 in the road-win at Oklahoma. A sophomore from Lubbock, he was coming off a game against West Virginia where he scored 12 points and had four assists last Monday. He also had 10 points and six rebounds at Kansas after recording 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a win over TCU three weeks ago. Culver, who is third in the Big 12 in scoring behind only KU's Dedric Lawson (19.6) and Iowa State's Marial Shayok (19.3), had his first double-double of the season by going for 23 points and 13 rebounds in the first matchup against Oklahoma and his second double-double of the season with a career-high 16 rebounds and 20 points against Iowa State. He also had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists against Texas on Jan. 12. Culver has led the team in scoring in 16 of 24 games and is currently averaging 15.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists through 11 conference games. Culver is on the John R. Wooden Award, Jerry West Award, Oscar Robertson Trophy and Lute Olson Award watch lists, was named to the Sporting News Midseason All-America second-team and earned Big 12 Preseason Honorable Mention honors. He has scored in double figures in 23 of 24 games and is shooting 50.0 percent from the field overall and 44.2 percent in Big 12 play. Culver recorded a career-high with 30 points against Abilene Christian on Dec. 20 where he went 12-for-13 from the field and hit four 3-pointers. He was named the Big 12 Player of the Week after the performance and followed it by going to New York and scoring 25 points against Duke. Culver comes into the matchup against the Cowboys having scored 838 career points in 61 games as a Red Raider.

Davide Moretti led the Red Raiders with 14 points in the win at Oklahoma last Saturday after hitting two 3-pointers and going 4-for-4 at the free-throw line. Over the past four Big 12 games, Moretti has gone 9-for-18 on 3-pointers and is 13-for-13 at the free-throw line. He scored 11 points and had four assists last Monday in the win over WVU after also leading the Red Raiders with 14 points against Kansas last Saturday where he hit three 3-pointers and was 5-for-5 at the free-throw line. Moretti recorded a career-high 21 points against Arkansas two weeks ago after going 6-for-9 from the field with three 3-pointers and followed it by establishing a new career-high with seven assists against TCU. Moretti also contributed 11 points against TCU and is now 10-for-20 on 3-pointers in the past four games. He's currently 22-for-49 (44.9 percent) on 3-pointers in conference play. In his career-high scoring performance, he would add six points from the free-throw line and also had two assists against the Razorbacks. Moretti, who is averaging 14.2 points per game over the past five games, has scored in double figures in 10 of 11 Big 12 games this season. Moretti now has 385 points through 61 games in his career and is currently averaging 12.3 points and 2.0 assists in conference play. Moretti has started all 24 games for the Red Raiders this season after making one start in 37 games played as a freshman. A coach's son from Italy, Moretti is averaging 10.7 points and 2.3 assists per game in his second season with the program. He has registered 17-point performances in wins over Southern Cal and Mississippi Valley State and has two games with six assists in non-conference play. Moretti made a career-high five 3-pointers against MVSU and has scored in double figures in 13 games this season and 15 in his career. He currently leads TTU with 34 3-pointers and is shooting 41.7 percent from beyond the arc.

After losing five seniors off last season's NCAA Elite Eight team, Texas Tech remained a veteran team through recruiting by adding graduate transfers Matt Mooney (University of South Dakota) and Tariq Owens (St. John's) to go along with returners Norense Odiase and Brandone Francis to make up a senior class of four for the Red Raiders. Owens and Mooney were both named to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award Watch List, making TTU the only team with two members on the list of 15. Odiase is coming off back-to-back double-digit rebounding performances after securing 11 rebounds in the win at OU after having 10 rebounds and a season-high nine points against West Virginia. He now has 519 career rebounds and 40 rebounds in the past five games. His previous season-high of eight points came against Oklahoma four weeks ago after going 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 at the free-throw line. A Fort Worth native, Odiase is averaging 3.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and is shooting 53.2 percent from the field. He had a career-high 13 rebounds in the win over Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 13 after a 10-rebounds performance against Mississippi Valley State. Odiase scored seven points to go along with his seven rebounds against Duke after going 3-for-4 from the field. Along with his career rebounding total, he has scored 562 points as a Red Raider.

Francis is coming off a week where he scored season-high 16 points against West Virginia after going 7-for-10 from the field and then had 11 points with three 3-pointers at Oklahoma. A reserve in 23 of 24 games this season, Francis was 3-for-5 on 3-pointers against the Sooners after he went 2-for-3 from beyond the arc in the game against WVU. He had scored his previous season-high against the Bears by going 4-for-8 from the field and 3-for-5 from the free-throw line in the game. A Dominican Republic native, he started his career at Florida before transferring to Lubbock where he averaged 5.1 points per game with 33 3-pointers as a junior during the Elite 8 run, including a career-high 17 points in the win over West Virginia. He's currently averaging 6.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game and is third on the team with 25 3-pointers this season. Francis has also 13 points in the opener against UIW and would contribute 10 points and a career-high six assists in the neutral-court win over Memphis. He has scored 332 points in 61 games in his career for the Red Raiders.

Owens had four blocks and six rebounds on Saturday in Norman after he recorded his second double-double of the season the week before by scoring 12 points and adding 10 rebounds against Kansas. An Odenton, Maryland native, he had one of his best offensive games of the season after scoring 17 points against TCU where he was 7-for-9 from the field, including going 2-for-2 on 3-pointers. He passed Andy Ellis who had 55 blocks in the 2001-02 season with his four blocks on Saturday in the single-season record category. Tony Battie has the single-season record with 71 blocks in the 1996-97 season. Owens, who has had at least one block in all 24 games this season, came off the bench for the only time this season at Kansas State and responded by recording 12 points with two 3-pointers and six rebounds. He has scored in double figures in three of the last five Big 12 games and is currently averaging 8.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots through 11 conference games. He currently has 27 blocks in Big 12 play and is fifth in the conference with a 55.4 shooting percentage. Owens, who led the BIG EAST in blocks the past two seasons while playing at St. John's, established a new Texas Tech single-game record with eight blocks in the win over Memphis on Dec. 1 in Miami after starting his Red Raider career with six blocks against Incarnate Word in the season opener. Owens is averaging 8.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in his first season in Lubbock. He had a season-high 18 points against Southern Cal and recorded the team's first double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in his eight-block performance against Memphis. Owens transferred to Tech after playing his freshman season at Tennessee and then two years at St. John's. He came to Lubbock with 179 blocked shots and now has 238 in his career.

Mooney scored 11 points and had four steals for the second straight game in the win over the Sooners. His conference season has been highlighted by scoring a season-high 22 points against Texas where he was 8-for-10 from the field with three 3-pointers before his 18 points in a 7-for-12 performance against the Horned Frogs. He opened Big 12 play with 14 points in both games against KSU and WVU before scoring seven in the first matchup against OU. Through 11 conference games, he is now averaging 10.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.4 assists per game in Big 12 play. An Illinois native, Mooney started his career at Air Force before playing two seasons at South Dakota where he led his team in scoring both years. He is shooting 43.5 percent from the field this season, has scored in double figures in 13 games and leads the team with 43 steals after having 10 in the past three games. Mooney transferred to Tech having recorded 1,480 points, 166 steals and 228 assists at Air Force and South Dakota. He now has 1,732 points, 209 steals and 299 assists in his collegiate career.

Kyler Edwards recorded a career-high six assists and added eight points in the win over OU after having four assists against WVU. He leads the TTU reserves with 6.0 points and 1.5 assists per game in his freshman season. Edwards has scored nine points in two conference games so far, first in the home game against KSU and then against Iowa State before going 3-for-3 from the field for eight points in Norman. A guard from Arlington, he has scored nine or more points in eight games this season and has recorded four double-digit scoring performances. Edwards recorded a career-high 19 points against Northern Colorado where he went 7-for-7 from the field with four 3-pointers. Edwards is shooting 42.1 percent from the field with 17 3-pointers. Texas Tech sophomore Deshawn Corprew is averaging 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game after scoring 10 points against WVU on a 3-for-3 shooting performance from the field with two 3-pointers before having five at OU. A transfer from South Plains College, he has played in 23 of 24 games including a career-night where he recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against UTRGV. Corprew, who made his first career start in that game against UTRGV, was 6-for-8 from the field to match a previous career-high of 13 points that he also had against Northern Colorado. Corprew had six rebounds at OU and now has 29 through the 11 Big 12 games. Avery Benson came off the bench against WVU and recorded a career-high three steals in 11 minutes, while Parker Hicks scored a career-high with five points against the Mountaineers. Hicks was 2-for-4 from the field, including hitting one of the eight 3-pointers by the Red Raiders in the 31-point win. On Monday, program has announced that freshman Khavon Moore will not play in any remaining games this season and will seek a medical hardship.

COVERING TECH: The Red Raiders and Cowboys will be featured on ESPN2 with Mark Neely and Bryndon Manzer. On the radio, Geoff Haxton and Chris Level will broadcast on Texas Tech Sports Network's flagship station Double T 97.3 in Lubbock. Fans can interact with the broadcast by following @GunsUpRadio on Twitter.

OKLAHOMA STATE (OKState.com Team Notes): The Cowboys come into Wednesday's game on a three-game losing streak and having lost six straight conference games. OSU was tied 36-36 at halftime against Kansas last Saturday before the Jayhawks pulled away in the second half for the win. Cameron McGriff led the Cowboys with 22 points and six rebounds, while Isaac Likekele had 14 points and six assists. The team would have four double-figure scorers against KU with Lindy Waters going for 13 with three 3-pointers and Thomas Dziagwa also hitting three shots from beyond the arc and finishing with 11 points. OSU shot 43.6 percent from the field with nine 3-pointers, but were out-rebounded by a 38-27 margin in the game.

McGriff leads the Cowboys this season with 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, while Waters is at 12.2 points per game and 65 assists. Dziagwa has made 71 3-pointers and is averaging 10.7 points per game and Likekele is leading the team with 87 assists. OSU is shooting 43.2 percent from the field as a team coming into the game. The Cowboys are currently 6-5 overall on their home court and 1-4 in conference play in Stillwater with a 61-58 win over Texas back on Jan. 8.
 

Oklahoma State will return to action after hosting the Red Raiders by traveling to Austin to play the Longhorns at noon on Saturday at the Erwin Center. 

--TECH--

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