Defensive battle breaks out: Raiders survive + advance
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks and Texas Tech Raiders- both intriguing teams in the tournament. The Raiders have one of the best defenses in the game, and best in Pac-12, but SFA had a chance to pull off the No. 14 seed over No. 3 seed upset that has been proven much more common in recent years.
The first half was filled with tough defense from the Lumberjacks and minimal offense from the Raiders. The Raiders got off to a sloppy start, as they played too tight and had trouble with scoring early on. However, when Zhaire Smith delivered an incredible 360 reverse jam dunk, it was anticipated to be a game-changer. It failed to do so, as Kevon Harris of SFA hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, to make it 30-27 in the Lumberjacks favor.
Both teams came out fighting in the second half as they each brought their A-game to the next twenty minutes. Tech and SFA both improved from shooting under 25% to shooting over 40%. Keenan Evans, a senior of Tech, directed his team to improve their game, as he left the game with 23 points (19 of them coming in the second half), shooting a perfect 10-for-10 from the line. Ivan Canete led the way for the Lumberjacks with 17 points.
This game was down to the wire, as both teams boasted of a strong defense. The teams came out with an intense amount of grit, passion, and fight. While scoring presented itself as a problem within the first half for both teams, in the end, the game was nothing more than a defensive fight- one both the Raiders and Lumberjacks were happy to partake in. Both teams were hungry- and Texas Tech feasted.
The final score was 70-60 Tech.
The Texas Tech Raiders will now face the winner of Florida and St. Bonaventure on Saturday (Time TBA).