Texas Tech Men's Basketball wraps November slate with Incarnate - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas Tech Men's Basketball wraps November slate with Incarnate Word on Wednesday

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech men's basketball team will play its third in-state opponent of the season Wednesday as Incarnate Word visits the United Supermarkets Arena for the first time.

Tipoff is on-tap for 6:30 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised by FOX College Sports along with the FOX Sports Go app. Robert Giovannetti and John Harris will serve as the announcing team with Adam Doyle as the sideline reporter.

The Texas Tech Sports Network will carry the game live on 97.3 FM, 100.7 FM and 950 AM in Lubbock. Geoff Haxton and Chris Level will have the call. The radio broadcast also will be available on the Texas Tech Sports Network radio affiliates, online at www.TexasTech.com and the TuneIn Radio app.

Texas Tech (5-1) posted its largest win of the season, a 91-58 victory over Idaho State. Incarnate Word is the second of three teams that the Red Raiders will meet for the first time during the 2016-17 season.

Chris Beard began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Incarnate Word in 1995-96. Texas Tech also faced North Texas earlier this season where Beard was an assistant coach from 1997-99.

"I've been really fortunate in my coaching career, and it started with my first job," Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. "I worked for Danny Kaspar at Incarnate Word. He is one of the most respected coaches in our profession. It may not be a national name, but those of us in this part of the country know Coach Kaspar. He built a championship program at Incarnate Word. He had the winningest record in all of college basketball for about a decade, and he went on the have great success at Stephen F. Austin. He's currently the coach at Texas State, so I'm really proud of my association with Danny Kaspar and Incarnate Word. It's a place that I have great memories of, and it's a program that I pull for."

"Coach Burmeister has done a great job transitioning their program from Division II to Division I which is very difficult," Beard continued. "They've won a lot of big games over the last two years. They beat St. John's and Nebraska. Those are two examples on opposing floors. This year, they already played Texas down to a one possession game with less than 90 seconds left so they have our full attention and respect. They have good players, and Coach Burmeister is a good, experienced coach."

Fans can buy tickets to Wednesday's game for as low as $10 online on gameday at www.TexasTech.com or in person at the United Supermarkets Arena Ticket Office starting 90 minutes prior to tipoff.

Students are encouraged to arrive early to take advantage of "Arcade Night" in the student lounge which will have a Super Mario Brothers look. Students also will receive a 4:1 wrist bracelet and be able to enjoy free food while supplies last.

Members of Heritage High School will perform the National Anthem, while the Ropes High School Marching Band will have a special halftime performance.

More season tickets have already been sold for 2016-17 than all of last season. Fans are encouraged to purchase season tickets now to reserve the best available seats. Reserved season tickets are on-sale for as low as $199.

Fans are reminded to go clear at all Texas Tech basketball games. The new clear bag policy provides a safer atmosphere and speeds up the entry process into the United Supermarkets Arena.

About Texas Tech

The Red Raiders continue to pace the Big 12 in field goal percentage (52.8) and three-point field goal percentage (43.6). Texas Tech also ranks second in opponent points per game (59.5) and rebounding margin (+9.8).

Zach Smith has amassed 11.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. The 7.7 rebounds are second, while the 1.7 blocks are tied for sixth on the Big 12 leaderboard. He has buried a Big 12 leading 65.9 percent of his shots. Smith has strung together double figures in three consecutive games and his 102 career blocks are fifth in program history.

Anthony Livingston has garnered 12.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He has drained a team-leading 13 three-pointers. Livingston's 2.2 treys are tied for fourth whereas his 44.8 three-point percentage is ninth in the Big 12 rankings.

Keenan Evans has come away with 12.8 points and 3.5 assists per game He has notched double figures in four of six games and scored a team-high 16 points versus Idaho State last time out. Evans also is coming off a career-best seven assists.

Texas Tech has played its last two games without its leading scorer Aaron Ross. He has reached double figures in all four games he's played in.

Justin Gray and Devon Thomas has started the team's last two games. Thomas has distributed 19 assists against four turnovers and his 4.8 assist-to-turnover ratio is fourth-highest in the Big 12. Gray has sank 61.5 percent of his shots, third in the Big 12 rankings. He has grabbed 4.5 of his 5.8 rebounds per game on the defensive end.

Texas Tech's top bench performers are Justin Gray and Devin Thomas, who broke into the starting lineup against Utah State. Gray has totaled 8.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game whereas Thomas has handed out a team-leading 16 assists through five games.

"It's challenging. Any coach will tell you that they'd rather have a game, then practice time, then a game, but it's not like that it college basketball," Beard said. "It's an important two weeks for us. I told the guys yesterday, we have an opportunity to practice a couple times this week. Then next week, we'll finally have the first gap in our schedule when we play Wednesday to Wednesday. This is a pivotal two week time for our team to get better in practice every day. When will it pay off? That's to be determined, but we are trying to do our best to tell our guys that we're not defining success by trying to win the next game. We're trying to make our team better. The objective this week is not to beat Incarnate Word. The objective is to make our team better, and hopefully win by the product of doing that."

About Incarnate Word

The Cardinals (2-2) have split their opening four games defeating St. Edward's (93-90) and Howard Payne (91-61) while falling to Texas (78-73) and Rice (87-79). Incarnate Word held a lead over the Longhorns with 2:33 remaining before Texas closed the contest with 12 of the final 18 points.

Shawn Johnson has been explosive in the backcourt with 23.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He posted a career-best 28 points aided by six three-pointers against Rice last Saturday. The New Orleans native has knocked down 63.3 percent of his field goal attempts and has collected 11 steals on the defensive end.

Jalin Hurt has chipped in 16.5 points and 6.0 assists per game. He has reached double figures in UIW's last three games headed by a 28-point performance against St. Edward's.

Tyler Singleton and Simi Socks have posted 12.8 points and 10.0 points per game, respectively, for the Cardinals. Socks worked his way to 20 points during the Rice game and did his damage on the strength of a 12-for-13 effort at the free throw line.

"I think they have more than one good player," Beard said. "You're talking about (Shawn) Johnson who's off to a great start averaging 20 points per game, but they've got some other really talented players. I love their point guard (Jalin Hurt). He's from right down the road at New Mexico Junior College. I like their size, I like their shooting ability, and I think they're a good team. They almost beat Texas, and there's a reason why they make the postseason almost every year. We'll certainly focus on their best players, but I have a lot of respect for everybody on the roster."

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