No. 25 Texas Tech will chase its 23rd consecutive home victory when Texas Southern visits Lubbock on Thursday night.
The Red Raiders (1-0) opened the season with an easy 73-49 victory over Northwestern State on Monday.
Center Daniel Batcho was the only Texas Tech player to score in double digits, and he stood out with 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.
“I’m just trying to be aggressive,” Batcho said. “I would say that we did a pretty good job of passing the ball, lobs, and pick-and-rolls. We need to keep doing that. I think we did good, but I think we can do way more as a team. We’re going to be way better.”
The Frenchman matched his career high for points and was 4 of 5 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line.
Last season, Batcho averaged 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds in 33 games. He averaged 9.9 minutes per game.
Now there is a glimmer of hope he will be a much bigger contributor this season.
“We’ve talked a lot about how much he’s improved,” Red Raiders coach Mark Adams said of Batcho. “His body keeps getting bigger and stronger, and he’s gaining more confidence. He had two good scrimmages before this game. He’s been one of our most consistent players, and you saw that tonight and on both ends of the floor. But we’re just really proud of him and his effort.”
Kevin Obanor and Kerwin Walton added nine points, and Jaylon Tyson recorded eight points and five rebounds.
The contest was the first in a Texas Tech uniform for Tyson, who played eight games for Texas last season before electing to transfer. He scored the first points of the game by drilling a 3-pointer.
“It was a dream come true for real,” Tyson said. “I didn’t dream of it being a three or a two. I just dreamed of my first shot being made at Texas Tech. That is going to be something that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Texas Southern lost its opener 90-77 at San Francisco on Monday night.
Guard PJ Henry scored 21 points despite being just 6 of 17 from the field. He is being counted on to step up after averaging 8.4 points last season.
Tigers coach Johnny Jones is expecting many new contributors as he reloads the team after going 19-13 last season and reaching the NCAA Tournament as the SWAC tournament winner.
“We lost seven guys from last year’s team, and four of those guys wore championship rings,” Jones said at last month’s SWAC media day. “So we lost experience, but the nucleus of guys that are returning, we feel they will play more minutes and feel those guys will fit in well.”
Texas Southern forced San Francisco into 23 turnovers while committing just 10 in the opener. But the Tigers made just 38.8 percent of their shots while the Dons sank a sparkling 60.8.
Texas Southern also was outrebounded 48-24.
John Walker III scored 19 points and Davon Barnes added 14 to join Henry in double digits.
–Field Level Media