Texas Tech’s defense too much for Gonzaga to handle

Anaheim, CA – With 10 seconds left on the clock and Texas Tech leading 71-69, Gonzaga guard Josh Perkins hit the ball out of bounds on an inbound play for a technical foul. That gave the Red Raiders two shots and the ball back. That pretty much sealed the Bulldogs’ fate Saturday afternoon at the Anaheim Honda Center.

A few plays later, Tech stormed the court knowing they were headed to the Final Four in Minneapolis after their 75-69 victory.

“The Final Four is awesome and all that, but the most cool thing is I get to coach these guys again,” said Texas Tech coach Chris Beard, ” We don’t want to play slow, you know, but we want to control the tempo and take shots and play March basketball.”

Texas Tech just kept hanging around knowing if they kept game close their defense would give them a chance.
Now Texas Tech is 3-0 against the Zags, with this Elite Eight victory being the sweetest yet.

Texas Tech standout Jarett Culver lead his team scoring 19 points, five rebounds and three steals in earning the West Regional Most Outstanding Player award.

Final Four
Texas Tech coach Chris Beard and player Brandone Francis at a postgame press conference in Anaheim, California. The Red Raiders defeated Gonzaga in an Elite Eight matchup to advance to the Final Four. Photo by Jevone Moore

The four Texas Tech seniors helped this team keep their composure down the stretch. Senior guard Matt Mooney led the way for this bunch with the Red Raiders, scoring 17 points, and handing out five assists.

“We keep believing in each other and we’re going to keep doing it,” said Mooney ” but hard work pays off.”

Late in the game the Zags went on a 2:57 with no field goals due to Tech’s defense. That was the point when they took control of the game and that five point lead. The Zags being the No 1 seed in the West needed no extra motivation to match Texas Tech’s intensity. But it just wasn’t enough today to make to the Final Four.

This former Cinderella team making its 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament Appearance and 22nd overall. The 21 straight berths to the field is the fourth-longest current streak in the nation (Kansas, Duke, Michigan State). Now they will have to wait another year to have a chance at a Final Four.

Now Texas Tech will await to take on Michigan St. in the Final Four after the Spartans upset Duke on Sunday.

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