College Basketball: Texas Tech at Texas – Texas Favored
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Last time Texas played Texas Tech, Kevin Durant became the first player in school history – and the second in the Big 12 – to record 30 points and 20 rebounds in a single game.
Durant and the 19th-ranked Longhorns are hoping for a repeat performance as they host Texas Tech on Tuesday.
The freshman forward had 37 points and 23 rebounds on Jan. 31 as Texas (19-7, 9-3 Big 12) posted a 76-64 victory at Texas Tech. Durant single-handedly outscored Texas Tech 24-22 in the second half, opening a lot of eyes, including those of Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight.
"He’s really good," Knight said after that game. "The guy is 6-9, he is mobile, he’s quick, he’s fast. I mean what more does he have to do. There’s no secret thing that he drinks before the game."
Ahead of the rematch, Knight again criticized the NBA age minimum of 19, saying it undermines the integrity of college basketball. While the Hall of Fame coach did not criticize Texas coach Rick Barnes for recruiting Durant, Knight doesn’t like potential loopholes players who want to spend just one season in college can use to circumvent academic requirements.
“I don’t fault those that have, because it’s within the rules,” Knight said. “Because now you can have a kid come to school for a year and play basketball and he doesn’t even have to go to class. He certainly doesn’t have to go to class the second semester.
“That, I think, has a tremendous effect on the integrity of college sports.”
The Longhorns are coming off a 68-67 win over Baylor on Saturday. Durant was held scoreless for a 20-minute stretch, but he still managed to finish with 20 points and 14 rebounds, his 15th game of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Fellow freshman D.J. Augustin committed three turnovers and missed two free throws in the final 71 seconds. Baylor, though, couldn’t capitalize, missing a desperation shot at the buzzer.
"We made it hard," Barnes said. "It’s February, you take road games any way you can get it. But we made it harder at the end than we should have."
The Red Raiders (17-10, 6-6) are 3-3 against ranked teams, including 3-0 against Top 10 squads. They toppled No. 8 Texas A&M for the second time this season Feb. 13, handing the Aggies their first home loss of the year. Jarrius Jackson, who matched a season high with 31 points, made a jumper at the buzzer to give Texas Tech a 77-75 win that snapped a season-high five-game losing streak.
"We’ve been having some problems with finishing games," said Knight, whose team had lost its previous two games by a combined four points. "We haven’t played real well and sometimes that can hurt a team that’s as good as A&M. So we perhaps were able to take advantage of that a little bit."
Texas Tech followed up its big win by routing Colorado 95-74 on Saturday. Jackson scored 28 for his fifth 20-point effort in his last six games.
"We just tried to stay on top of it and stay aggressive this game and try not to go into that lapse that we had (during the losing streak), so that was all up to coach and the players and the others on the coaching staff," said Charlie Burgess, who had a team-high six assists. "We did a great job on preparing for this game so we just got to look forward to this next game."
Texas is in third place in the Big 12, three games ahead of fifth-place Texas Tech.
The Longhorns have won 10 straight home games against the Red Raiders and 20 of the last 22 overall to take a 66-52 lead in the all-time series. Texas Tech has not won at the Erwin Center since Feb. 24, 1996.
by: Marc Young – theSpread.com – Email Us
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