LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech Red Raiders shot 62 percent from the floor and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half in knocking off Stephen F. Austin 66-54 on Sunday afternoon at United Spirit Arena.
Antonio Bostic managed to reach double figures for SFA (1-2) for the third straight game with 11 points, but was just 4-for-15 from the floor on the day and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc as SFA hit just 36 percent from the field and was 4-for-19 from 3-point range as a team.
The Red Raiders used an early run to establish a double-digit lead in the early portion of the first half and never led by less than a dozen points until less than two minutes remaining in the game. Four Red Raiders finished with at least 10 points, led by Jaye Crockett's 14 points and four rebounds.
SFA got its highest bench scoring output of the season on Sunday with 24 points from its reserves, including nine from Jonathan King who also added a team-best six rebounds. Senior Jereal Scott added six points in the second half, but was hindered by foul trouble throughout the final frame.
Texas Tech hit 14 of 17 shots from the floor in the first half, including 4 of 5 from behind the 3-point arc, to build a comfortable 37-23 lead over the ‘Jacks at the break. Bostic and Darius Gardner canned buckets on each of SFA's first two possessions of the game before the Red Raiders used a pair of threes to open things up with a 13-0 run to jump out in front 15-5.
SFA answered that run with five quick points from King and Kevin Broussard, but Texas Tech needed less than three minutes to push the lead back to double digits. From there Texas Tech was able to hold the ‘Jacks without a field goal for more than a five-minute stretch toward the end of the half with a layup from Desmond Haymon putting an end to the drought with less than two minutes to go in the half. The ‘Jacks had a chance to get the lead into single digits before the half with late points from Gardner and Taylor Smith, but Javarez Willis answered that mini run with a triple just before the half to push the lead back to 14.
The ‘Jacks outscored the Red Raiders by a pair in the second half, but fell behind by as much 18 points within the first three minutes of the break and was forced to spend the remainder of the period trying to trim the lead. Hal Bateman's seven second-half points helped SFA try to rally back late in the game and get to within 10 points with two minutes remaining in the game, but when all was said and done the ‘Jacks were hindered too much by their own mistakes in their comeback attempt, hitting just 9-for-17 in the second half from the free throw line and 14-for-25 for the game.
SFA will look to even its record on Saturday with another tough road test, traveling to El Paso to take on UTEP at the Dom Haskins Center.