With less than seven minutes remaining, Justin Gray made his way to the free-throw line, while the Arkansas-Little Rock players stood around in the lane Tuesday afternoon in United Supermarkets Arena.
Trojans coach Chris Beard yelled at his players, “Body language.”
Little Rock kept closing the deficit to around four points but could never overtake Texas Tech, and the Red Raiders handed the Trojans their first loss of the season, 65-53.
The men’s basketball programs at Texas Tech and Arkansas-Little Rock, which meet Tuesday in Lubbock, share several ties.
First-year head coach Chris Beard spent 10 years at Texas Tech as an assistant coach under Bob and Pat Knight (2001-11).
He recruited senior guard Toddrick Gotcher.
One of his assistant coaches, Mark Adams, was on Tubby Smith’s staff the past two seasons as director of basketball operations.
Monday afternoon, Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith mentioned the status of some of his players.
Smith said sophomore forward Justin Gray didn't practice that day because he had some swelling in his groin.
"In practice yesterday I probably pulled it a little bit," Gray said. "We were doing drills and working on defense. I'm doing a lot better now. I've been icing and heating it all day. I'm just trying to get that swelling down, and I'll be ready for tomorrow."
Smith also added that sophomore forward Norense Odiase is "a little beat up."
Freshman forward C.J. Williamson missed the last two games for the Red Raiders due to some academic issues.
Monday afternoon, Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith announced Williamson will be available for Tuesday afternoon's contest against Little Rock.
"I did want to mention that we’re really pleased and excited that we have C.J. Williamson back," Smith said. "He got everything and did everything he had to do to get himself reinstated and eligible. I’m really relieved and pleased for that."
With less than 10 seconds left in the first half, Devaugntah Williams said, “Give me that,” as he swiped the basketball from Charles Jackson and passed the ball up the floor to Justin Gray.
Gray missed his shot, but Aaron Ross was there to tip the ball in before the buzzer sounded.
Behind yet another stellar defensive performance by the Red Raiders, in addition to their best offensive output this season, Texas Tech crushed Arkansas-Pine Bluff 94-54.
Nearly a third of Texas Tech’s points came off of Golden Lion turnovers.
Keenan Evans used to sit on a different bench.
At the time, he was just a toddler, running around the court at halftime and hanging onto his mother, Shantell Evans, who was a four-year starter for Arkansas-Pine Bluff and an all-SWAC standout.
In all your time at Texas Tech, what has been your favorite moment here?
“My favorite moments have been (in) my junior year when we rushed the floor after we beat Oklahoma State and Baylor. That year alone was just one of the greatest of my life. Rushing the floor with the students and fans is something I’ll never forget.”
What motivates you the most to be such a good athlete and an ever better student?