May 19, 2024

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Digitally first class

Kevin Obanor helps Red Raiders survive scare

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Here are three key takeaways following Texas Tech’s 59-53 win over Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday:

March Obanor

Texas Tech had a very sluggish start on the offensive end to open the game. With the Red Raiders stalled out and in need of a bucket, a face familiar with the NCAA Tournament showed up in a big way. Kevin Obanor — who was a pivotal part of Oral Robert’s Sweet 16 run last season — provided some much-needed offense for the Red Raiders in the first half. Obanor finished the first half with 11 of Texas Tech’s 26 first-half points. The veteran’s experience playing in tough tournament games was noticeable in helping Texas Tech stay competitive through the first frame. Obanor finished the game with a monster stat line of 15 points and 14 rebounds.

All ball, all net

Marcus Santos-Silva has demonstrated an uncanny ability to guard on the perimeter this season. In the final minute of the contest, Notre Dame generated a clear drive to the basket that could have resulted in an easy bucket. Fortunately for Texas Tech, Santos-Silva was there to reject the shot. After blocking the shot, Santos-Silva was fouled underneath the basket and sent to the free throw line in a one-and-one situation. A 46% free throw shooter on the season, Santos-Silva knocked down both effortlessly to put Texas Tech in the lead.

Keep the ball to yourself

While Texas Tech’s offense was far from perfect, the Red Raiders’ ability to protect the ball was key. The Red Raiders had only eight turnovers in the game, a necessary development against a Notre Dame team that is top-10 in the country in forcing turnovers. Texas Tech’s defense forced the Fighting Irish into bad decisions, causing Notre Dame to commit 11 turnovers of its own. The Fighting Irish had struggled to protect the ball all season, and Texas Tech utilized that to keep their season alive.

Texas Tech guard Adonis Arms (25) reacts with teammates at the end of a second-round NCAA...

Find more Texas Tech coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

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