Texas Tech Wins Big 12 Game in Overtime
Devaugntah Williams did not start the game on Wednesday night. For the entirety of regulation, he didn't make a shot. For the first four minutes and 59.5 seconds in overtime, he didn't make a shot. And then, with the game on the line, he sunk a layup between three Oklahoma State players to win the game 63-61 victory over the Cowboys in the United Supermarkets Arena.
Hopefully, this big shot sparks a revival back to where he was early in the season when he was the leading scorer for the team. Or it could just be that Oklahoma State (11-11, 2-7 Big 12) is just susceptible to game-winning baskets. In 2014, Williams drained a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to beat the Cowboys 63-62.
In beating OSU, Texas Tech (13-8, 3-6 Big 12) notches its third Big 12 win, which could very easily be 6-3, but isn't.
The fact that it is the third means this game was absolutely a must-win. It's nice to see your senior leaders close out the game for you, with Toddrick Gotcher nailing a few 3-pointers to tie up the game and Williams' last-second heroics.
The third Big 12 win also equals the conference total from last season and also puts the Red Raiders at 13 wins on the season and that equals the season win total from last season, with nine conference games remaining. Improvement!
"It was certainly a very tough, hard-fought game," Texas Tech Head Coach Tubby Smith said. "We’re very proud of our players, and their resiliency and courage. We’ve lost a lot of close games, but tonight we found a way to win. I want to commend our guys for showing a lot of toughness and stepping up. Oklahoma State is pretty athletic and pretty talented. When Jawun Evans went out – they were having their way when he was in there. I hope he’s OK. We’re very happy to get this win, a much-needed win."
Since Norense Odiase went down, Tech has been looking for a post player to step up. Aaron Ross definitely did that last night with a career high 22 points and 7 rebounds. He nailed 4 3-pointers and went 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Gotcher also stepped up big with 4 3-pointers and 6 free throws to get to 18 points on the evening. Justin Gray made his first start of the season but only added 2 points and 5 rebounds while Matthew Temple had 3 blocks and 3 rebounds.
Texas Tech was 18-of-55 from the floor, but drained 8-of-18 on three-pointers. The Red Raiders notched a 19-of-24 effort at the charity stripe. Texas Tech edged out a 28-20 advantage in bench points and has amassed 163 bench points over its last five games.
The Cowboys totaled a 19-for-52 shooting performance and misfired on 13 of their 17 attempts from beyond the three-point arc. Oklahoma State was 19-for-24 from the foul line.
Texas Tech was down by five with two minutes remaining and scored the final five points of regulation to tie up the game at 53, setting up the aforementioned overtime heroics. Ross turned an offensive rebounds into a putback layup.
The Red Raiders held the OSU Cowboys to a shot clock violation on their final possession of regulation after Gotcher had nailed a deep 3-pointer to tie the game.
In what seemed like deja-vu, Oklahoma State took a 61-58 edge with 59.3 seconds left in overtime. Gotcher provided an equalizer on a triple off a screen with 39.8 seconds on the clock.
With a tied ball game, Texas Tech forced a turnover and got the ball back with close to 10 seconds remaining. After a few passes, the ball ended with Williams at the top of the key. He took it and drove with a shot fake to lay in a game winning layup with half a second on the clock.
Coach Smith was happy for Williams.
"D-Will is a kid who has really done a lot for our team and for our program, but he’s just struggling shooting the ball," Smith said. "This will certainly help his psyche, and it helped the team. It was a play designed to get the ball to Toddrick, but they did a good job of switching out and denying. We always say, the last resort is attack the basket off the dribble, and that’s what he did."
Williams agreed with Coach Smith that this basket will help him get out of his slump.
"I feel like it's a confidence booster," Williams said. "I know I've been in a little slump, but I got teammates to help pick up the effort. It was a good team win. We wanted TG [Toddrick Gotcher] to take the last shot. I told him if I get it I'm not going miss. I saw [Anthony] Allen coming to block the shot, but I just kept my eyes on the rim. We didn't want to go to a second overtime."
Tubby was satisfied with how the team played late, finally winning a close game at the end.
"We’ve worked hard on that. That’s one of the areas we’ve really stressed. We’ve been stressing it all year long, but we finally we able to do it in late game situations and get some stops," Smith said. "Zach (Smith) was big tonight. He was all over the court with eight rebounds. He probably had 10-to-15 deflections tonight. That’s what we have to do to be competitive. We’ve been working on late game situations and concentrating and focusing over the last couple days."
This is a huge win for Texas Tech and will hopefully build some momentum for the second half of this grueling Big 12 schedule.