Utah State put up a good first half performance against the sixth seed Texas Tech Red Raiders, leading 26-23 after the first half, but the Red Raiders proved to be too much to handle in the second half, outscoring the Aggies 42-27.
Justin Bean was the leading scorer for the Aggies, putting up 13 points on 5-9 shooting (55.5%) and going 3-4 from the free throw line. He also had eight rebounds (five defensive, three offensive), a steal, two turnovers, and a personal foul. Mac McClung was one of the Texas Tech players mentioned in the preview for this matchup to keep an eye on and he delivered, leading the Red Raiders with 16 points on 6-16 shooting (37.5%). He went 3-6 from the three point line and went 1-1 from the free throw line. He also had three rebounds, a turnover, and a personal foul.
Neemias Queta and Marco Anthony of Utah State both put up 11 points on 5-8 shooting and both also went 1-2 from the free throw line. Queta posted 13 rebounds (11 defensive, two offensive). Marco Anthony had a rebound, four assits, two blocks, five turnovers, and three personal fouls. Rollie Worster and Brock Miller put up six points on 2-7 shooting (28.6%) and 2-8 shooting (25%) respectively. Worster was 2-5 from three (40%) while Miller was 2-7 from three (28.6%). Worster also had three rebounds (two defensive, one offensive), an assist, four turnovers, and a personal foul and Miller had two rebounds, an assist, a steal, three turnovers, and two personal fouls.
Kyler Edwards scored the second most points for the Red Raiders, putting up 12 points on 3-8 shooting (37.5%), going 2-5 from three (40%) and 4-4 from the free throw line. He had six rebounds (five defensive, one offensive), four assists, three steals, three turnovers, and a personal foul. Terrance Shannon Jr. and Kevin McCullar both put up ten points on 5-12 shooting (41.6%) and 4-10 shooting respectively. Shannon Jr. was 0-2 from the three point line and had a rebound, three assists, a steal, and two personal fouls. McCullar was 2-4 from the three point line and had seven rebounds (six defensive, one offensive), three assists, a block, two turnovers, and three personal fouls. Marcus Santos-Silva put up six points on 3-6 shooting and had six rebounds (three defensive, three offensive), two assists, a steal, and a personal foul.
Off the bench for Utah State, Alphonso Anderson put up six points on 3-8 shooting (37.5%) and had four rebounds (three defensive, one offensive), a turnover, and a personal foul. For Texas Tech, the leading scorer from off the bench was Micah Peavy, who had seven points off of 3-6 shooting, going 1-2 from the free throw line. He also had an offensive rebound, two steals, two blocks, a turnover, and four personal fouls.
As a team, Utah State was 22-50 shooting (44%), going 4-19 from three (21.1%) and 5-10 from the free throw line. Texas Tech was 26-62 shooting (41.9%), going 7-18 from three (38.9%) and 6-8 from the free throw line (75%). Utah State will end the season out rebounding every team they played this season, which is really a very impressive statistic. Texas Tech had an advantage in assists, 15-13, and steals, 8-3, but Utah State had the advantage in blocks and fouls, 9-3, and 13-14. One of the deciding statistics in this game was the difference in the number of turnovers, where the Aggies had 22 turnovers and the Red Raiders had eight.
In the preview for this game, two keys to victory were to take advantage of opportunities and win the turnover battle. Texas Tech did both of these things very well and that is the ultimate reason why they came out on top. Utah State did not play their best game against Texas Tech and the 22 turnovers show that. Without the turnovers, maybe this game is closer but going 4-19 from three doesn’t help either. There wasn’t many free throws to take advantage of in this game which is a big reason why the points of the turnovers became that more important. In the preview for this matchup, the predicted final score was 68-59 but 65-53 is still pretty close. What the two scores show is that Utah State was going to make it a game early on but Texas Tech would pull away in the second half and that is exactly what happened. It is certainly disappointing to lose at any point in March Madness but Aggies players and fans should feel happy that they were in the tournament in the first place because not every team gets that fortunate opportunity. Texas Tech advances to the Round of 32 and will take on Arkansas on Sunday, March 21st.