From before the season began, Chris Beard has been all about his five seniors.
They’re the backbone of this program - who he wanted to have success for his first year and who he entrusted to shape the future of Texas Tech basketball.
In the case of Aaron Ross, who has played here for five years, he has left this Red Raider program better than he found it.
And in their short time with the program, Devon Thomas, Thomas Brandsma, Matt Temple and Anthony Livingston have put the name on the front of their jerseys before the name on the back.
And it was that team first culture those five helped build that led the way in Texas Tech’s 67-57 victory over Texas Wednesday night inside United Supermarkets Arena.
What was a close game at halftime quickly mounted into a double digit lead behind an aggressive Red Raider attack to start the second period.
Texas Tech went on a 14-2 run that reached its peak excitement level off a monstrous Zach Smith dunk.
The Red Raiders led by as many as 17 before Texas implemented a full court press that got Tech out of its rhythm offensively.
During that nearly five minute stretch without a bucket, the Longhorns fought to cut Texas Tech’s lead down to single digits.
But every time Texas cut the lead down, the Red Raiders answered.
None bigger than Justin Gray’s and-1 with less than two minutes to play.
Gray finished with 15 as Keenan Evans led the Red Raiders with 18 points behind a 10-for-10 performance at the free-throw line.
Ross added 13 as Texas Tech finished shooting 49 percent from the floor.
Defensively Tech held the Longhorns to 42.6 percent shooting as Shaquille Cleare led Texas with 15 points.
Jacob Young and Jarrett Allen finished with 14 and 10 points respectively.