Saturday, January 27, 2007

This afternoon, the men's and women's basketball teams from my home university, Texas Tech, were playing at the same time, the men at Missouri and the women hosting Texas. Though both Texas Tech squads experienced substantial scoring droughts, the final outcomes were different for the Red Raiders (men) and Lady Raiders.

The Tech men entered their game against Missouri coming off back-to-back home wins against national top 10 teams Kansas and Texas A&M. The Red Raiders, who've consistently been among the nation's top 5 in 3PT% this season, had in fact just shot .556 (10 of 18) from behind the arc against the Aggies.

The opposition Tigers have a new coach this year, Mike Anderson, a disciple of former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson and his "40 Minutes of Hell" style of defense. Lately, though, the Mizzou defense apparently hadn't been all that stifling, as the Tigers came into the game 1-4 in Big 12 play, including home losses to Iowa State and Kansas State.

Well, today, the Missouri defense turned up the heat and sidetracked the Red Raider offense. As shown in the TTU-Mizzou play-by-play sheet, the Red Raiders went scoreless for roughly the first 9 and 1/2 minutes of the second half (until 10:23 remained), ultimately falling in a 71-58 Tiger victory.

Interestingly, Tech's three-point shooting wasn't bad at all against Missouri, percentagewise (.538, 7 of 13); however, the Raiders got off fewer three-point attempts than against Texas A&M, made three fewer of them, and thus derived nine fewer points from long distance. Also, as the television announcers noted, Mizzou's defense forced Texas Tech's best outside shooter, Jay Jackson, to attempt some threes from really long distance.

The Lady Raiders likewise went through a major scoring slump, in their game against No. 24 Texas. Based on this article (a play-by-play sheet doesn't seem to be available yet), Texas Tech appears to have gone approximately 19 minutes with only two field goals to their credit ("In the final 11:53 of the [first] half, the Lady Raiders hit just two field goals..." and "...Tech failed to score a field goal until 13:23 [remained in the second half]").

Yet, this did not spell doom for the Lady Raiders. Down 48-41 with a little over two minutes remaining in the game, Texas Tech scored the final eight points of the contest. Alesha Robertson's three-pointer with 6.1 seconds left turned out to be the game winner, as the Lady Longhorns couldn't score on their last possession.

Considering that the two Texas Tech squads left enough minutes of (empty-scoring) gaps to remind one of the Watergate tapes (see also here), getting at least one victory is pretty good.


Warren Silver, a relative of mine, has a blog on University of Illinois sports and Chicago pro teams. I was just looking at Warren's blog and noticed from his synopsis of today's Illinois-Purdue men's basketball game that the Boilermakers had outscored the Illini 21-0 during one stretch. Here's the play-by-play sheet, where you can see the sequence in which a 4-4 tie later became a 25-4 Purdue lead.

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