Texas Tech pulls away from Arkansas-Little Rock 65-53
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Zach Smith recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in Texas Tech's 65-53 win over Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday afternoon.
Toddrick Gotcher also scored 12 points for the Red Raiders (9-1), who extended their winning streak to eight games.
''He recognized that he had to raise his level of play because we were struggling from the front line,'' Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said of the 6-foot-8 Smith. ''And he always plays bigger than when you look at his physique. He's not a physical presence out there, but he can really go get the ball.''
Texas Tech outrebounded UALR 39-23.
Marcus Johnson Jr. scored 14 points for Arkansas-Little Rock and Josh Hagins added 11 points.
UALR (10-1) entered the game with the nation's top scoring defense, allowing 53.7 points per game, and was one of six undefeated teams nationally.
Texas Tech sealed its win with a 10-0 run late in the second half that was started by a Gotcher jumper. Aaron Ross scored on the next possession with a long jumper.
Texas Tech closed the first half on a 7-0 run to take a 35-31 halftime lead.
''You could tell the intensity level was raised,'' Smith said. ''And there are a lot of storylines. We were trying to make sure we kept our guys focused and for the most part, I have to give our kids credit for keeping their poise.''
Arkansas-Little Rock: Coach Chris Beard spent 10 seasons as a Texas Tech assistant under Bob and Pat Knight from 2001-11. During his ten seasons on staff, Texas Tech won 188 games - the best 10-year stretch in program history. ... Little Rock received votes in the AP Top 25 poll - the first time it has received votes in the poll since 1988. ... The Trojans' 10-0 start was the best in program and Sun Belt Conference history.
Texas Tech: After missing the last two games due to an academic eligibility issue, C.J. Williamson was cleared and dressed for Texas Tech, but did not play.
Texas Tech hosts Richmond on Dec. 29.
Little Rock visits South Alabama on Dec. 30.