Following the season-ending loss, Edwards paid a visit to the Texas Tech locker room to congratulate the team and shake hands with opposing players of whom just ended his season. Tech had hit below 70% of its foul shots during the tournament dropping its season average to 69%. This was not a pretty game, but Texas Tech will take it. However, Evans didn't seem to be there when the team needed him most.
Though most of the media attention focused on Purdue's center tandem of the injured Isaac Haas and his replacement, Matt Haarms, the star of Purdue's team is point guard Carsen Edwards and he was terrific. They rammed home six dunks against Purdue on Friday and have a 12-2 edge in dunks against opponents during the tournament.
As Keenan Evans goes, so does Texas Tech.
Consider the job Tech did on Purdue's top 3-point shooter Dakota Mathias.
The game on Sunday will be a huge test for Tech's stellar defense against the nation's hottest 3-point shooting team. As a result, he was just 1-7 from the field.
"Being a Boilermaker is just perseverance man", Edwards said.
What made Purdue so good throughout the year was its balanced scoring attack. Texas Tech knocked second-seeded Purdue out of the NCAA Tournament with a 78-65 victory.
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Although their focus on defensive fortitude has certainly paid off (opponents average just 64.6 PPG), even Red Raiders head coach Chris Beard acknowledges that their coaching staff's focus on defensive play sometimes leaves the team lacking of offensive firepower. Overall, Tech had a 34-30 advantage on the boards but that advantage felt more lopsided.
"They're one of the best defensive teams in the country".
Prediction: Villanova is the best team left in this tournament and they have too many weapons offensively for Texas Tech.
It will be harder to do that in practice if Villanova plays as it did on Friday. With 18 points and eight rebounds, Villanova's Omari Spellman had a solid performance.
Texas Tech's depth is the main reason why Benson cheers from the stands rather than the bench.
Tech made a decision to be physical with the skinny native of The Netherlands. "We play in the best league in college basketball". He was raked in the face by Zhaire Smith, shoved around by Norense Odiase and had his shot rudely blocked by Justin Gray.
"When you have a team that has accepts their role and comes in and is ready to embrace those moments, obviously, you see the results, and we play for one another". That proved not to be the case.
Keenan Evans would put up 12 of his 16 points in the second half. Eric Paschall finished with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. They turned them over, locked down the perimeter, made more field goals and won the second chance points battle. Texas Tech's reserves tallied 27 points in its win over Stephen F. Austin and 15 against Florida before outscoring Purdue's reserves 33-6 in the Sweet 16. But for the first 30 minutes of the game he was seemingly nowhere to be found. Five Red Raiders scored at least nine points while displaying their outstanding defense.