[12:30 PM] Texas Tech @ Richmond

Who will WIN this matchup?

Texas Tech Red Raiders (9-1)

@ Richmond Spiders (5-4)


The line for this game is Texas Tech by 4.5 points.

Texas Tech looks to keep its momentum going when it plays its first true road contest of the season, at Richmond on Saturday afternoon. The Red Raiders are 9-1 after an easy win over Nicholls State on Wednesday, while the Spiders have had a week off since snapping a two-game losing streak with a narrow victory over UMBC.

While the Red Raiders’ offense has been good, the team’s defense has been just as key to the 9-1 start, holding opponents to 58.5 points a contest and keeping four foes under 50 points. Turnovers are a big key, with four players averaging at least a steal, and opponents averaging 15 miscues per contest. Having a pair of shot-blockers like Smith and Gray – both averaging more than a block per game – allows the Texas Tech perimeter defenders to take more chances to go for steals, which often lead to easy baskets.

With the Spiders currently only averaging just over two more points than the opposition, every chance at scoring counts, which is why coach Chris Mooney has been on his team about free-throw shooting. It may have started to sink in, as Richmond hit a season-high 24 free throws on 26 attempts in a three-point victory over UMBC in its last outing. Even with that showing, the Spiders are only hitting 66.7 percent as a team, but Jones went 8-for-8 and Cline was 7-for-7, giving Mooney confidence that his big-time scorers have the ability to be clutch at the line as well.

Gray notched his first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Nicholls State.

Smith had one block in the win over Nicholls State, but it pushed him into a tie for second place on the all-time career blocks list at Texas Tech with 109.

Beard was happy to see F Aaron Ross play 16 minutes against Nicholls State, his first action after sitting out five games because of injury.


StreakSmarts Pick: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick