Red Raiders Rally Back To Top Southwestern Oklahoma, 76-70
Sophomore Javarez Willis led Texas Tech with 22 points on Thursday against Southwestern Oklahoma State.
November 3, 2011
LUBBOCK, Texas -
In the dawn of a new era, it was two returners, who led the way, as Javarez Willis chipped in 22 points and Robert Lewandowski added 18 points to led Texas Tech to a come-from-behind win over Southwestern Oklahoma State, 76-70, in an exhibition game at the United Spirit Arena on Thursday.
If was the first look at the Billy Gillispie era Red Raiders, who feature 12 new players and just three returners from last season.
Southwestern Oklahoma State jumped out to an 8-0 lead with 17:36 to play in the first, but the Red Raiders rallied back thanks to a 3-pointer from Willis with 13:55 left to cut it to two, 10-8. The Bulldogs extended the lead back to eight points twice in the first half - 22-14 and 27-19, but it was a late rally by Texas Tech that cut the margin to four at the half, 35-31.
The Bulldogs capitalized on 14 Texas Tech turnovers in the first half with 13 points, despite shooting just 29.6 percent from the field. SWOSU also outrebounded the Red Raiders 18-15 in the first half.
The second half seemed like an entirely different Texas Tech squad, as Gillispie's Red Raiders shot 59 percent from the field and finally began to dominate the boards, outrebounding the Bulldogs 20-14 in the second frame.
A Lewandowski jumper 90 seconds into the second half tied the game at 37-37, but it wasn't until 12 minutes to play when Jaron Nash got a breakaway lay-in to give the Red Raiders their first lead of the night, 50-49.
Texas Tech extended the lead to seven, 62-55, on a DeShon Minnis free throw, but Southwestern Oklahoma would not go away.
The Bulldogs battled back and the two teams finished the night with four ties and three lead changes, before Nash broke away for a layup to give Texas Tech the lead for good, 66-64.
Clutch free throw shooting was big, as the Red Raiders hit 18 of 20 from the line in the second half, including 10-for-10 in the final minute of the game.
Joining Willis and Lewandowski in double figures on the night was Nash, who finished night with 11 points and five rebounds in just 17 minutes of play. Terran Petteway added a game-high 10 rebounds, to go along with six points, three assists and three blocks.
The Red Raiders will host Our Lady of the Lake University on Saturday at the United Spirit Arena in the second and final exhibition game of the season. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and admission is free.
The regular season begins a week from Friday, when the Red Raiders host Troy at 8:30 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena.
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