Texas Tech sophomore Terrence Shannon, Jr. scored a season-high 22 points in an 82-71 win over Kansas State on Tuesday where he went 11-for-12 at the free-throw line and the team was 30-for-36.
The No. 18 Red Raiders (9-3, 2-2 Big 12) improved to 7-2 at the United Supermarkets Arena this season and evened their conference record with Mac McClung adding 16 points and Marcus Santos-Silva going for 14 points. Tech, which led 36-31 at halftime and responded from an overtime loss to Oklahoma State last Saturday, committed only nine turnovers in the game and shot 45.3 percent from the field to go along with 83.3 percent at the line.
Tech will now play a pair of road games, starting against Iowa State at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Ames, Iowa before playing at No. 4 Texas next Wednesday in Austin. KSU fell to 5-7 overall and to 1-3 in Big 12 play with the loss.
Texas Tech went with the starting lineup of Santos-Silva, McClung, Micah Peavy, Kyler Edwards and Kevin McCullar for the first time this season. Peavy would score the game’s first four points and finished with nine points, three rebounds and two assists, while Edwards also had nine points to go along with five rebounds. McCullar led the team with seven rebounds and also had six points in his third game back and second straight from the starting lineup. Santos-Silva finished the game with his 14 points after going 5-for-9 from the field. McClung now leads Texas Tech with 15.1 points per game this season after going for double digits for the eighth time. He was coming off leading the Red Raiders with 21 points against Oklahoma State and scored his 16 against the Wildcats by shooting 6-for-11 from the field with two 3-pointers.
Eight different Red Raiders hit at least one free throw in the game, including Santos-Silva and Jamarius Burton making four each. Peavy was 3-for-4 at the line, while McClung, Edwards, McCullar and Nimari Burnett had two each.
Shannon finished the game 5-for-9 from the field to go along with making 11 free throws for the Red Raiders who made a season-high 30 in the game. A starter in the 10 games he’d played in before Tuesday, Shannon would come into the game as a reserve for the first time this season. He hit a 3-pointer and was also one free throw shy of matching his career-high of 12 last year at West Virginia. He’s now averaging 13.8 points per game and is shooting 52.0 percent from the field.
“For me it wasn’t really an adjustment,” said Shannon of not starting in the game. “I told him before the game whatever we got to do to win and if it’s me coming off the bench, I told him I’d be fine with that. It worked all right.”
Shannon has now scored 20 or more in three of the first four Big 12 games this season after also having 21 at Oklahoma and was two off of his career-high of 24 last season at DePaul. He’s now led the team in scoring three time this season and is averaging 19.0 points through four conference games.
On the win over Kansas State: “We played better tonight. If one play goes better in our game against Kansas and Oklahoma State we win. Same could be said about our win at Oklahoma. But the reality is that we could be 4-0 in the Big 12 right now and in first place. We are still the same basketball team at 2-2 as we would be at 4-0. We just have to keep getting better. The scoreboard can’t dictate where we are in our journey. We are more concerned with the process than the outcome. We have to win games though to stay alive in the fight and be invited to the tournament, but more important right now to us is getting better. Tonight I thought we got better in parts of the game.”
On Shannon not being in the starting lineup: “I’m proud to tell this story and it’s the truth. It wasn’t a conversation, it was TJ coming to me. Obviously, in our last game, we were disappointed… There were some things internally that we weren’t satisfied with. So we had some hard days in practice when we were kind of looking at ourselves from the inside out. We are always tinkering with our starting lineup to see what can give us the best outcome that night, we always have seven players in our mind. TJ came to me as a veteran player and said ‘hey coach whatever you need from me tonight, I know to be a championship team you coaches need the best payers hard, I want you to coach me hard and help my team win.’ I don’t always take the player’s suggestions, but this time I did. I thought TJ’s mind and heart were in the right place to basically come off the bench tonight to get us off to a good start and he played great. He looked like the best player on the floor in segments of this game.”