LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Davide Moretti scored 13 of his 19 points after halftime, including all four of his 3-pointers, and No. 12 Texas Tech finally pulled away for a 72-57 win over Tennessee State on Thursday night.
Freshmen Terrence Shannon Jr. and Jahmi’us Ramsey each scored 13 points for the Red Raiders (4-0).
The Red Raiders were only up by 35-32 with just under 12 minutes left, and Tennessee State (3-2) had just missed a potential tying 3-pointer, before Moretti sparked the home team. The guard, the only returning starter after Tech went to the national championship game last season, had a pair of 3-pointers in a 10-3 run. Tech added 11 points in a row soon after that.
The Red Raiders, who never trailed, ended up leading by as many as 18 points late despite shooting only 34% (17 of 50 field goals).
Ravel Moody had 12 points to lead Tennessee State, which shot 35% (18 of 51). Wesley Harris and Shakem Johnson each scored 10 points.
Kyler Edwards added 10 points for Texas Tech, making up for his 1-of-11 shooting from the field by making all eight of his free throws. Chris Clark was scoreless while taking only one shot in 26 minutes, but he had 12 rebounds and four assists.
Tennessee State: The Tigers clawed all night against the reigning national runner-up. A bad shooting night by the Red Raiders kept the Tigers in the game, but fouls proved to be a key contributor to the loss. Tech made 32 of 38 free throws. Tennessee State faced tough competition in their first trip to Lubbock in history.
Texas Tech: An eight-day break for the Red Raiders may have been a factor in their slow night. Ramsey, the freshman who had gotten off to a tremendous start, was 4-of-13 shooting and missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Tech’s defense, on the other hand, showed different life with solid press, zone and man coverage.
Tennessee State heads to the West Coast to take on San Diego State on Monday night.
Texas Tech hosts Long Island on Sunday before leaving the state of Texas for the first time. The Red Raiders will spend the Thanksgiving holiday playing two games in Las Vegas.