Texas Tech's offense sputtered and coughed early in second half against Sam Houston State on Friday when the teams met in Lubbock. There was no such trouble when the Red Raiders were on defense, though, and that was a major difference in an 84-52 victory.
Mac McClung led Texas Tech for the second time in as many games with 18 points, Marcus Santos-Silva was stout again with 12 points and nine rebounds and the defense limited the Bearkats to 31.5% shooting from the floor (17-of-54) and just 4-of-18 from 3-point range.
The Red Raiders (2-0) came out with a purpose, and a bull's-eye appeared to be on Sam Houston State's Zach Nutall, who opened the season by torching SMU for a career-best 36 points on Wednesday.
Nutall was hounded all over the court by a variety of Texas Tech defenders and for 20 minutes, the 6-foot-3 junior guard could hardly get a shot off, let alone hit one. He was 0-for-6 from the field in the first half, and with him neutralized, the Bearkats struggled to score.
Unlike the Red Raiders' opener, when Northwestern State was pesky for the first 10 minutes, Sam Houston State (0-2) produced only four points in that same span.
Meanwhile, McClung was again an offensive force with 13 of his points in the opening period, which ended with the Red Raiders in command, 43-15. The Georgetown transfer ended the day 7-for-12 from the floor and helped stabilize his team after Texas Teck got off to a rocky start in the second half, missing 10 of its initial 14 field goals.
Nutall finally found some offensive success after halftime and led the Bearkats with 14 points but needed 17 shots to reach that total. Demarkus Lampley added 12 for Sam Houston State and was the only player for his team to make more than one 3-pointer.
After tuning up with a pair of Southland Conference foes, the competition jumps up several notches for the Red Raiders on Sunday when they take on 17th-ranked Houston in Fort Worth.
--Field Level Media