Red Raiders Open Big 12 Play in Stillwater against OSU

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Javarez Willis led the Red Raiders in scoring last time out.

Jan. 4, 2012

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Texas Tech    Billy Gillispie
Record at School: 7-5 (1st Year)
Overall record: 147-90 (8th Year)

Oklahoma State    Travis Ford
Record at School: 72-42 (4th Year)
Overall record:  262-189 (15th Year)

• Texas Tech is coming off 62-54 win over Southeastern Louisiana. It is the Red Raiders second straight win.
• Oklahoma State suffered a 67-61 setback to Virginia Tech in Stillwater on Saturday. The Cowboys have lost four of their last five.
• This is the only Texas Tech game this season that is not televised. The game feed can be accessed via the internet at texastech.com All-Access.
• Texas Tech is 5-10 in Big 12 openers and 4-11 in Big 12 road openers.
• The Red Raiders have opened up Big 12 play against Oklahoma State five times. Texas Tech is 1-4 in league openers against the Cowboys.

• This is the 49th meeting between the Cowboys and the Red Raiders. The two first met in Oklahoma City on Jan. 1, 1937. Oklahoma State leads the all-times series, 35-13.
• This is the 23rd meeting in Stillwater, Okla. OSU leads the series at home, 19-3. The last Texas Tech win in Stillwater came on Jan. 24, 2003, when the Red Raiders prevailed 62-57.
• Texas Tech and Oklahoma State have split the series each of the last two years.

• Oklahoma State is currently 7-6 on the season, after starting the season 3-0.
• Keiton Page and Le'Bryan Nash lead the way for the Cowboys. Page is averaging 13.8 points and 1.4 assists a game, while Nash chips in 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds an outing.
• Texas Tech and Oklahoma State have one common opponent - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Red Raiders won at Corpus Christi,  61-54, while OSU topped the Islanders, 71-39.

Since Texas Tech joined the Big 12 Conference at the beginning of the 1996-97 season, there have been 39 Red Raider players scored 20 points in a game at least once. In that group, 25 have performed the feat twice. The school's all-time leading scorer, Andre Emmett did it 55 times. In all, five of the school's top seven scorers have played in what we call the Big 12 Era. Here is a complete list of the 39 Red Raiders, who have compiled 372 20-point games at Texas Tech. Red Raider freshman Jordan Tolbert is the newest member with five 20-point games this season. He had 20 against Indiana State, added 27 against TCU, netted 22 against Grambling State, added 21 against Oral Roberts and 27 against CSU-Bakersfield. His 27 at TCU are the most by a Red Raider freshman on the road in the Big 12 Era, but John Roberson holds the freshman record with 28 against Northwestern State in 2007. Tolbert is one of 10 freshman to record a 20-point game at Texas Tech, but joins just Roberson (7) as Red Raiders who have done it at least five times. Red Raider Ty Nurse also joined the list this year, when he went for 29 points against Troy in the season opener. Tolbert and Nurse are the Red Raiders' top two scorers this season.

Texas Tech's Jordan Tolbert has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week for the week of Dec. 26-Jan. 1, in voting by a panel of media covering the Conference. Tolbert continued his strong play as the Red Raiders notched wins over Cal State Bakersfield (74-58) and Southeastern Louisiana (62-54). The freshman averaged 19.0 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 78.9 percent (15-of-19) from the field. He was also 8-of-13 (.615) from the line, adding two assists, two blocks and three steals. He tied a career-best versus CSU-Bakersfield with 27 points, which was his fourth consecutive 20-point outing and fifth this year. Tolbert leads all Big 12 freshman in scoring (15.4 ppg) and field goal percentage (.652) while ranking second in rebounding (6.1 rpg). The scoring mark is fifth in the league overall, while his shooting percentage places him second. Tolbert is the first Red Raider to win a Big 12 honor since Mike Singletary earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors on Jan. 31 of last year. He is the first Texas Tech player to win Rookie of the Week since David Tairu won the honor on Nov. 16, 2009.

Last time out against Southeastern Louisiana, the starting lineup was Ty Nurse, Javarez Willis, Terran Petteway, Robert Lewandowski and Jordan Tolbert. It was the first time this season that lineup was used to start the game. It was the sixth different starting lineup this year. Willis, Lewandowski and Tolbert have started every game. It was Petteway's first career start.

Jordan Tolbert is just a freshman, but his play has definitely not been that of a first-year player. The 6-7 Tolbert is third in the nation in scoring among freshmen competing in the nation's six power conferences. Washington's Tony Wroten leads players from these leagues with 16.8 points  per game, St. John's Moe Harkless (15.7) is second, while Tolbert is third with 15.4 an outing, followed by Duke's Austin Rivers (15.4) and St. John's D'Angelo Harrison (15.2). Tolbert has seen his scoring average steadily climb as the season has progressed from 8.0 points per game to its current. 15.4 per game.

Jordan Tolbert leads the team in points (15.4), rebounds (6.1), field goal percentage (.652), field goal attempts (112) and makes (73) and he ranks third on the team in free throw percentage (.722). The 6-7 freshman is fifth in the Big 12 Conference scoring and 11th in rebounds and ranks second in field goal percentage. He is the leading freshman scorer in the league and is second in rebounding. Tolbert has scored in double figures nine times this season, including a season-high 27 twice -- once at TCU on Dec. 6 and once against CSU-Bakersfield on Dec. 27. It was the most by a Tech freshman since John Roberson went for 28 against Northwestern State on Dec. 29, 2007. It is the second highest scoring mark by a Red Raider freshman in the Big 12 Era. He also netted 20 points against Indiana State at the Old Spice Classic, 22 against Grambling State and 21 against Oral Roberts. Tolbert has pulled down five rebounds in 10 of 12 games this season and had a season-best nine on three different occasions. He has recorded five 20-point games as a freshman, which has only been recorded one other time in the last 20 years at Texas Tech by a freshman. He also did it four times in a row, which was last done by Jarrius Jackson in November, 2006. He ranks seventh nationally in field goal percentage, but first among freshmen.

Javarez Willis is one of three returning players from last year's squad who has started all 12 games this season. Willis is third on the squad in scoring (8.6), leads in assists (2.5) and second 3-point field goal percentage (.375) and is second in free throw percentage (.839). He has recorded nine or more points seven times this season and had a season high 16 against Cal State-Bakersfield thanks in large part to a season-high four 3-pointers. Willis followed up that outing with a team-best 15 points against Southeastern Louisiana. He has also dished out at least two assists in eight of 12 games this season, while distributing four assists or more four times. Willis has connected on 19 straight free throws, including 8-of-8 against Southeastern Louisiana.

Ty Nurse has the ability to be an offensive threat each time he steps on the floor. He has led the team is scoring three times this season and scored in double figures on four occasions. Nurse had a remarkable debut, chipping in 29 points. He has scored in seven of eight games this seasons. Nurse is second on the team in scoring at 10.7 points per game, while chipping in 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He is an 90.2 percent foul shooter, connecting on 37 of 41 from the charity strip this season. The Red Raiders are 7-2 when Nurse plays at least 22 minutes.

Toddrick Gotcher knows how to win. He saw his high school team win 91 percent of its games Garland (Texas) Lakeview Centennial. What he adds to the Red Raiders is a little of everything. He is fifth on the team in scoring (7.3 ppg), fourth in rebounding (3.9 rpg), first in assists (2.6), third in blocks (6), and fifth in free throw percentage (.720). He has had three double-digit scoring games against North Texas (12), Wake Forest (10) and TCU (14). Gotcher has had five games with at least four rebounds and another six games with at least two assists.

Jaye Crockett has become the key cog off the bench for the Red Raiders this season, but earned his first start against Cal State-Bakersfield. After sitting out the opener, Crockett has averaged 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds over the next 11 games. He has had three double-digit scoring games - Stephen F. Austin (13), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (12) and Southeastern Louisiana (10) - and recorded five rebounds in six games this season, including nine against North Texas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Southeastern Louisiana. In the Corpus Christi game, Crockett led the team in points, rebounds and assists off the bench. He is second on the team in rebounding and fourth on the team in assists (1.7).

Texas Tech is second in the Big 12 Conference in field goal percentage through 12 games, as the Red Raiders have hit on 49.9 percent of its shots from the field. The Red Raiders are ninth nationally in field goal percentage this season. Tech has hit 60 percent or better in a game three times this season -- Troy (61.1 percent), Stephen F. Austin (62.9 percent) and CSU-Bakersfield (60.0 percent). When Texas Tech shot 61.1 percent from the field (33 of 54) against Troy in the opener, it eclipsed the highest percentage of any game last season. The highest percentage last season was 58.8 percent (30-of-51) against Delaware State on Jan. 4. Two games later against Stephen F. Austin, the Red Raiders connected on their first six shots of the game to take a 15-5 lead. Texas Tech connected on 14 of 17 shots from the field in the first half (82.4 percent) and hit four of five 3-pointers (80 percent). The Red Raiders finished the game hitting 62.9 percent from the field. It is the best shooting performance by Tech in the last three years, eclipsing the 62.1 percent the Red Raiders shot against Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 22, 2008. The Red Raiders added their third 60 percent shooting performance against Cal State-Bakersfield, as Texas Tech connected on 24 of 40 shots, including 7-of-14 from 3-point range. In all, the Red Raiders have shot better than 50 percent in five of 12 games this season.

The Red Raiders rank ninth in the nation in field goal percentage (49.9 percent), but did you know that Texas Tech ranks 340th in shot attempts (47.9 attempts per game)? The Red Raiders are making on average 23.9 field goals per game, which ranks 179th out of the 345 schools in the NCAA Division I.

Through the first four games of the season, senior Robert Lewandowski was averaging 6.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Since that time, the Kansas native gradually improved those marks to 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds. He has recorded three straight double-digit scoring outings. He has also raised his shooting percentage from 39.5 percent to 50 percent by shooting 61 percent over the last six games. Lewandowski also recorded his first career 3-pointer in just his third career attempt against Southeastern Louisiana. The 6-10 Lewandowski has played in 107 career games. It was 61 games between his first 3-point attempt against UTEP on Jan. 3, 2010 and his first career make against Southeastern Louisiana.

Jaron Nash has been spark for the Red Raiders this season. The Waterloo, Iowa native is the only reserve to have appeared in all 12 games off the bench. This season, Nash has chipped in 4.4 points and 1.7 rebounds a game. He is one of nine Red Raiders averaging better than 4.8 points a game this season. Nash's big game came against Wake Forest, when he came off the bench to finish with a team-high 15 points on six of 13 shooting. He also had a team-best seven boards, two blocks and three steals. Nash is one of two players on the squad shooting better than 59 percent from the field, joining Jordan Tolbert.

Freshman Terran Petteway can be a spark. He showed that against Cal State-Bakersfield, as he chipped in nine points in 18 minutes of play for the Red Raiders. He had a career-high 13 points in the loss to DePaul at the Old Spice Classic. He made the most of his minutes, as he hit 4 of 6 from the field in 15 minutes of play and connected on 4 of 6 from the line. He had a big first half against Indiana State, chipping in nine points on 4-of-6 shooting. In three games at the Old Spice Classic, Petteway was second on the squad with 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds. For the season, Petteway is averaging 5.7 points and 2.3 rebounds and outing.

Walk-on Luke Adams stepped onto the court against Grambling State not only playing in his second career game, but making his first career start. The freshman from Big Spring, Texas, who is legally deaf, connected on his first four shots of the game (all 3s) to spark a 27-2 Texas Tech run against the Tigers. He earned his second career start at Oral Roberts, chipping in with four points and four assists. In five games, the 5-9 walk-on has averaged 4.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 70 total minutes of play.

For the ninth time this year, the Red Raiders used 10 players in the lineup. Of the 10 players, only seven players scored, including four in double figures.

The streak ended ... for the first time this year, the Red Raiders put together back-to-back games of 40 percent or better shooting from the 3-point line. Tech shot 50 percent against CSU-Bakersfield and hit for 40 percent against Southeastern Louisiana. Previously, the Red Raiders would hit from better than 40 percent or less than 30 percent in consecutive games this season. The Red Raiders have now hit 43% (Troy), 18.2% (North Texas), 54.5% (Stephen F. Austin), 22.2% (Indiana State), 50% (DePaul), 30% (Wake Forest), 44.4% (Texas A&M-CC), 25% (TCU), 42.1% (Grambling State), 14.3% (Oral Roberts), 50% (Bakersfield) and 40% (SE Louisiana). For the season, the Red Raiders are 54 of 137 from beyond the arc (39.4 percent). Ty Nurse leads the way, hitting on 17 of 42 attempts (40.5 percent) from 3-point range.

Ty Nurse's 29 points against Troy is the most by a Red Raider since Mike Singletary had 33 against Iowa State on Jan. 26 last season. It is also the most points in a season opener by a Texas Tech player since Curtis Marshall had 30 against UNC-Ashville in 2004 and Andy Ellis had 30 against Indiana in 1999. It is also the most points in a newcomer debut in the Red Raider Big 12 Era.

Texas Tech ranks ninth nationally in field goal percentage (49.9), 25th in 3-point percentage (39.4), 33rd in field goal percentage defense (38.5), 79th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (31.3) and 110th in free throw percentage (70.2). Jordan Tolbert ranks 17th in field goal percentage (64.8) and 223rd in free throw percentage (76.0). Jordan Tolbert ranks seventh in field goal percentage and 149th in scoring. Ty Nurse ranks 18th in free throw percentage (90.2).

Texas Tech shot 92 percent from the free throw line (23 of 25) against North Texas. It is the highest output since connecting on 23 of 24 last season against TCU (95.8 percent). The Red Raiders connected on nine consecutive free throws over the final 3:04 to secure the victory.  For the season, Texas Tech is 186 of 265 from the line (70.2 percent).

Texas Tech has now out-shot its opponent from the field in 11 of 12 games this season. In the last outing, Texas Tech was 60 percent from the field (24-40), while CSU-Bakersfield was 47.8 percent from the field (22-46). DePaul is the only team to out-shoot the Red Raiders this season. The Blue Demons hit 46.6 percent from the field, while the Red Raiders connected on just 42.3 percent from the field. That was also the lowest shooting performance of the season for Texas Tech.




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