RECAP: No. 25 Tech takes win over Alabama State

No. 25 Tech takes win over Alabama State.
No. 25 Tech takes win over Alabama State.(Texas Tech Athletics)
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 5:19 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (TEXAS TECH ATHLETICS) - Davion Warren scored 15 points, Kevin McCullar had a career-high seven assists and Daniel Batcho added nine rebounds to help lead No. 25 Texas Tech to a 75-53 non-conference win over Alabama State on Tuesday at the United Supermarkets Arena.

The Red Raiders (10-2) improved to 8-0 at home this season with the win and have now won 14 straight non-conference home games after forcing 23 turnovers. Alabama State fell to 1-11 with the loss, while Tech improved their scoring margin to 20.0 through 12 games after the 22-point win which ranks 10th nationally. An 18-3 run midway through the first half gave TTU a 28-15 lead which grew to a 42-27 advantage at halftime following a close matchup through 10 minutes. 

“We got some momentum going and played off that,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. “We always talk about the most aggressive team winning and we were not early. I was pleased to see our effort from the bench to give us a spark.”

”We just stayed the course,” Warren added.

Texas Tech is now scheduled to return to action at Iowa State on Wednesday, Jan. 5 in Ames, Iowa to begin Big 12 play after their game on Saturday against Oklahoma State was postponed until Jan. 13. The No. 8 Cyclones are 12-0 on the season and will host No. 1 Baylor on Saturday before taking on the Red Raiders at Hilton Coliseum next week.

Tech owned a 36-8 scoring advantage in the paint and 37-30 rebounding advantage over the Hornets in the final game before the start of Big 12 play. The Red Raiders finished the game shooting 50.9 percent from the field with nine 3-pointers, led by McCullar who was 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. Warren, who led the team in scoring for the first time this season, hit two 3-pointers and finished the game 6-for-12 from the field. Adonis Arms added 11 points and five assists for the Red Raiders, while Clarence Nadolny had a career-high five assists to go along with eight points.

Arms finished the game with four dunks in a game where he had two steals and match his season-high with five assists. Batcho added eight points to his team-leading nine rebounds, falling just one rebound shy of his third double-digit rebounding game and a couple of each from his first double-double. Batcho had seven defensive rebounds in the game where he was 3-for-4 from the field. Tech had 19 assists as a team on 29 made baskets with KJ Allen and Bryson Williams having one assist each. Williams finished the game with eight points and six assists while Sardaar Calhoun hit two late 3-pointers to score six points. Tech’s defense has now forced 20 or more turnovers in four games this season and has limited seven of 12 opponents under 40 percent shooting.

Gerald Liddell led Alabama State with 15 points and five rebounds, while Trace Young had 14 points and six rebounds. The Hornets, who also played Texas and Iowa State this season, finished the game shooting 35.3 percent from the field and 8-for-27 on 3-pointers.

Tech led 42-27 at halftime with Warren leading the team with 11 points and McCullar going for six assists and eight points. Batcho led the Red Raiders with eight rebounds in a half where the team had a 19-16 rebounding advantage. Seven players had scored at halftime with Williams and Nadolny having six points each. Tech was 6-for-16 on 3-pointers at the break and was shooting 16-for-33 (48.5 percent) from the field. Liddell led the Hornets with eight points and four rebounds in the first half with the team shooting 8-for-20 (40 percent) with five 3-pointers.

The Red Raiders have not lost a non-conference home game since an overtime loss to Kentucky on Jan. 25, 2020 after going 6-0 last season and now 8-0 this year. Tech will host Mississippi State on Jan. 29, 2022 in a Big 12-SEC Challenge matchup at the USA for its final non-conference game of this season. The 14 straight wins comes after the program had won 54 in a row before the Kentucky loss.

KEY MOMENTS

First Half

  • Alabama State won the tip but committed a turnover on its first possession… Tech committed turnovers on its opening three possessions before scoring for the first time on a McCullar 3-pointer on its fifth possession.
  • Williams hit a 3-pointer off an assist from McCullar to cut Tech’s deficit to 11-10 with 14:24 remaining until halftime… Batcho hit a jumper in the lane to make it 12-12 at the under-12 media timeout of the first half.
  • Warren hit a 3-pointer and then had a dunk to give Tech a 5-0 run and 17-12 lead before ASU responded… Warren would hit another 3-pointer for a 20-15 lead with him scoring eight straight points.
  • Tech was on an 11-0 run (18-3 overall) to take a 28-15 lead into the under-8 media timeout after a layup by Williams and dunk by Arms… The run grew to 12-0 before ASU stopped the run with a 3-pointer but still trailed 29-18.
  • Nadolny hit a 3-pointer with five minutes remaining in the half before a Warren layup pushed the lead to 35-22… Tech went into halftime with a 42-27 lead with an Arms dunk off an assist from McCullar with 30 seconds remaining being the final points of the half.

Second Half

  • Obanor scored on Tech’s first possession of the second half for his second basket of the game.
  • Tech took a 52-34 lead off an Arms dunk that came from a pass by Nadolny… It was the fifth assist from Nadolny and gave Arms nine points.
  • McCullar hit a 3-pointer to give Tech a 57-38 lead with 12:30 remaining in the game… He had 11 points and six assists at that point in the game.
  • Tech took its first 20-point lead at 61-41 on a layup by Nadolny with 10:36 remaining.
  • Calhoun hit back-to-back 3-pointers to stop a 6-0 run by Alabama State… The game was at 69-51 with four minutes to play after his threes and at 71-51 with an 8-0 run that came with an Allen layup.

This news release was provided by Texas Tech Athletics.