LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Norense Odiase produced a double-double to lead Texas Tech to 71-59 season-opening win against Loyola (Md.) on Friday night.
The Red Raiders (1-0) needed a rally entering halftime to take the lead and pulled away early in the second half. They trailed the Greyhounds (0-1) until 3:43 remained in the first half and took the lead for good on a Keenan Evans 3-pointer with 1:26 left in the first half.
The win gave Tubby Smith the victory against his son, G.G. Smith.
”It was great,” said G.G., who played against Kentucky when his father coached there. ”It wasn’t quite as new. I’m kind of glad it’s over. My mom is kind of glad it’s over.”
The Greyhounds, who play in the Patriot League, made their first five 3-pointers to take a 15-4 lead during the first five minutes of the first half.
”Some of it was luck,” G.G. said. ”Some of it was guys just getting open. We try to get the ball inside. We had a lot of open looks. We were fortunate to get those shots early.”
The Red Raiders trimmed the Greyhounds’ lead to four, 19-15, after consecutive 3-pointers from Toddrick Gotcher and Devaugntah Williams. The Greyhounds added two Andre Walker free throws to build a six-point lead, but the Red Raiders chipped away at the lead.
”They were making some shots early on,” Tubby said. ”But we were able to respond the right way.”
The Red Raiders took a 35-33 lead into halftime, and Odiase scored a layup and dunk over the first 1:47 of the second half to build a six-point lead. He finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
”He’s hard to guard inside,” Tubby said. ”He’s the one post player we have who likes contact. He doesn’t mind contact.”
Loyola’s Andre Walker produced a game-high 17 points, while teammates Eric Laster and Tyler Hubbard added 15 and 12, respectively.
The Red Raiders had four players reach double-digits in scoring: Odiase, Williams (13 points), Gotcher (10) and Evans (10).
Texas Tech’s bench outscored the Greyhounds 38-19.
”That’s our strength,” Tubby said. ”We have to do it as a team. We play a lot of guys. We try to wear them down.”