No. 12 Texas Tech to get test vs. Iowa in Las Vegas
No. 12 Texas Tech will face its first real challenge of the season when it squares off against Iowa on Thursday in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena.
The winner on Thanksgiving will face the victor of the other tournament semifinal between Creighton and San Diego State on Friday, with the losers battling in the consolation game, also on Friday.
The Red Raiders (5-0) head to Las Vegas on the heels of a 96-66 home victory over Long Island on Sunday. Texas Tech overcame a 42-41 halftime deficit, shooting 51.5 percent from the field, 57.9 percent on 3-pointers (11 of 19), and committing just 10 turnovers.
"You can always get better," Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said after the win over LIU. "The coaching mentality and the great player mentality is that you are always striving for the perfect game. More important than anything was let's stay poised. We were the most aggressive team in the second half."
Texas Tech freshman Jahmi'us Ramsey earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors on Monday after scoring a career-high 27 points in the win over Long Island. Ramsey leads the Big 12 with 19.4 points per game.
"In order to be in the zone like that you have to play team ball. My teammates did a really good job of giving me the ball," Ramsey said. "Feeling comfortable out there is the most important thing. I feel like I have adjusted well to the speed of the game."
The Hawkeyes (4-1) are on a three-game winning streak with wins over Oral Roberts, North Florida and Cal Poly after suffering their only loss of the season against DePaul on Nov. 11.
Iowa is averaging 84.0 points per game and has limited opponents to an average of 70.8.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has been impressed with Texas Tech on both ends of the floor.
"They play good defense," McCaffery said. "They're connected and physical. They also really move the ball on offense. They're spacing is excellent and play with a great deal of confidence and unselfishness."
McCaffery believes rebounding will be a key factor on Thursday.
"Rebounding will be of the utmost importance in this game," McCaffery said. "Texas Tech is an excellent rebounding team for a team that plays a lot of guards. They attack the glass hard at both ends."
Luka Garza leads the Hawkeyes in scoring and rebounding, averaging a double-double with 22.2 points and 10.2 boards per game. Forward Jack Nunge had started the first five games of the season for Iowa but suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the win over Cal Poly on Sunday.
Iowa owns a 4-1 advantage in the series over Texas Tech, with the Hawkeyes earning an 83-53 win on Dec. 21, 2004, in the most recent matchup.
The Red Raiders are 5-0 against Big Ten opponents under Beard, including going 3-0 last season with wins over Nebraska at the Hall of Fame Classic and then Michigan and Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament.
--Field Level Media
Updated November 27, 2019