LUBBOCK, Texas — The month on the calendar says February.
But, make no mistake, Saturday morning’s Big 12 Conference matchup between No. 16 Texas and No. 17 Texas Tech had the feel of March basketball.
In what turned into a one-possession game with about three minutes left to play, Chibuzo Agbo stepped to the free-throw line and drained a pair of free throws which salted away a 68-59 win over the Longhorns inside United Supermarkets Arena.
“As March nears, I’ve always thought it’s a player’s game,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “We’ve never won an NCAA Tournament where we had three or four guys play great. That’s what March is.
“Today, a lot of individual performances. And one I’d like to talk about is Buzo. Coming in the game, he was ready when his name was called. And played the game really well today all the way down to those last pressure free throws.”
With the win, the Red Raiders (15-8, 7-7) snapped a three-game losing streak by downing Texas (14-7, 8-6) and earning the season sweep.
Ending the skid can go all the way back to Agbo, who made a pair of free throws with 47.8 seconds, provided just enough scoring separation for Texas Tech to secure the victory over the Longhorns.
Agbo, a freshman who came into the contest making 3-of-7 free throws, had not attempted a free throw since a road game against LSU. He was clutch, making a pair to give the Red Raiders a 65-59 advantage that held.
More so, the Texas Tech defense stepped up big — giving up only five made free throws in the second half to Texas.
The two teams were battling from the start, which showed through the physical nature of the contest early on that led to 18 total foul calls in the first 20 minutes.
three-pointer from Kyler Edwards. The junior guard stepped in by scoring right first-half points, while Mac McClung scored the next five points to give Texas Tech a 25-24 advantage — it’s first of the game — at the 4:43 mark of the first half.
The Red Raiders built their lead to three points, twice, the final time coming after a Kevin McCullar jumper before Coleman drained a three-pointer before the halftime buzzer and both teams headed to their respective locker rooms knotted at 33-33.
The second half saw Texas Tech jump out to a 13-4 run before Coleman made a pair of free throws to end a 7-0 run and cut the Longhorns’ deficit to 46-39 at the 14:28 mark of the second half.
At one point, Texas had shot 0-for-11 from the field, before chipping away and making things interesting in the final 20 minutes.
Jamarius Burton was not available to play in Saturday’s game against No. 14 Texas.
The junior guard, who was wearing a walking boot on his right foot, was listed as day-to-day with a toe tendon issue which he suffered a week ago.
No. 18 Texas Tech will begin its makeup week with a pair of home games, set to be broadcast on ESPN+, starting with a 6 p.m. Tuesday matchup against TCU before welcoming Iowa State for a 6 p.m. Thursday contest. The Red Raiders will end the week with a 3 p.m. Sunday road game against No. 2 Baylor.
No. 14 Texas is slated to take on Iowa State in a 6 p.m. Tuesday road contest.