Texas Tech 2–0 with Walton starting after rallying to upset No. 13 Iowa State; Platek’s Siena team leads MAAC

By R.L. Bynum

Texas Tech had wins in only half of its first 20 games before inserting Kerwin Walton into the starting lineup.

The Red Raiders are 2–0 since that happened, including Monday’s rally from a 23-point deficit with 12:38 left. Texas Tech finished off the amazing comeback to earn an 80–77 overtime home victory over No. 13 Iowa State for their first Big 12 victory and back-to-back wins for the first time since mid-December.

It was the largest comeback in the country this season and tied for the largest rally to beat a ranked team in the last decade. It was the second-largest second-half deficit overcome in a victory in the history of the league. Iowa State had won the first meeting 84–50 on Jan. 10.

“I’m still in shock here,” said Texas Tech coach Mark Adams, whose team didn’t earn its first lead until overtime. “I was just so proud of our guys. They didn’t give up on themselves. I was proud of the fans. I was afraid they were going to leave at halftime.”

Walton didn’t put up big numbers like when he scored 17 points and five 3-pointers in Saturday’s 76–68 win at LSU, but he hit a big 3-pointer and finished with five points, a rebound and an assist.

He and Jaylon Tyson scored consecutive 3-pointers with 16:32 left to cut the Red Raiders’ deficit to 46–30.

Walton has played more than 20 minutes in consecutive games for the first time since playing at least 22 in the first three games of the season. He also logged 22 minutes when he scored 12 points and four 3-pointers in Texas Tech’s 81–74 loss to then-No. 21 Baylor on Jan. 15.

Walton became a starter when after freshman guard Pop Isaacs, the Red Raiders’ leading scorer in Big 12 play, injured his ankle three games ago.

Remember Caleb Grill, who torched UNC for seven 3-pointers and 31 points in Iowa State’s 70–65 victory over the Tar Heels in Portland on Nov. 25? He scored 24 points and a career-high eight 3-pointers against Texas Tech. In between, his best perimeter games were when he notched five 3-pointers against Baylor on Dec. 31 and Jan. 4 against Oklahoma, both wins.

A Grill field goal was Iowa State’s only bucket in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

Texas Tech (12–10, 1–8 Big 12) goes for its third consecutive victory at 8 p.m. Friday at Oklahoma State (ESPN+).

Andrew Platek scored 11 points and two 3-pointers Sunday as Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference-leading Siena rolled to a 70–55 victory at Marist.

The Saints (15–7) are 9–2 in the league, the best 11-game start to the conference season since the 2009–10 team won its first 14 MAAC games. Siena, which has a one-game lead over Rider, visits Manhattan at 7 p.m. Friday (ESPN3).

Dawson Garcia has missed Minnesota’s last two games with a bone bruise in his right foot. The Gophers’ leading scorer (14.9 points per game) and rebounder (6.3) reportedly practiced more on Tuesday. A decision on whether he plays Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. against Rutgers (Big Ten Network) will be made at game time.

Minnesota (7–13, 1–9) has lost five consecutive games and is at the bottom of the Big Ten.

Checking in on 4 former Heels

Jeremiah Francis, Emmanuel College guard

6–1, 190 pounds | Junior | UNC 2019–20 (1 season)

The Lions haven’t played since Saturday
Season statistics — 19 games, 19 starts, 7.7 points, 36.8% FG, 25.0 3FG%, 78.8 FT%, 2.6 rebounds; totals of 43 assists, 18 steals and 1 block
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday at King; 4 p.m. Saturday at Southern Wesleyan

Dawson Garcia, Minnesota forward

6–11, 230 pounds | Sophomore | UNC 2020–21 (part of 1 season)

The Gophers haven’t played since Saturday
Season statistics — 18 games, 18 starts, 14.9 points, 44.7 FG%, 32.3 3FG%, 71.6 FT%, 6.3 rebounds; totals of 33 assists, 10 steals, 11 blocks
Up next — 8:30 Wednesday at Rutgers, Big Ten Network; 9 p.m. Saturday vs. Maryland, Big Ten Network

Andrew Platek, Siena guard

6–4, 208 pounds | Graduate student | UNC 2017–21 (4 seasons)

70–55 Sunday win at Marist — Started; 32 minutes, 11 points, 3–8 FG, 24 3FG, 1 rebound, 1 foul, 1 assist, 1 turnover
Season statistics — 22 games, 22 starts, 10.7 points, 47.7 FG%, 45.8 3FG%, 59.4 FT%, 2.5 rebounds; totals of 32 assists, 20 steals, 4 blocks
Up next — 7 p.m. Friday at Manhattan, ESPN3; 2 p.m. Sunday vs. Niagara, ESPN+

Kerwin Walton, Texas Tech guard

65, 200 pounds | Junior | UNC 2020–22 (2 seasons)

80–77 Monday OT win vs. No. 13 Iowa State — Started; 22 minutes, 5 points, 2–3 FG, 1–5 3FG, 1 rebound, 3 fouls, 1 assist
Season statistics — 20 games, 2 starts, 4.4 points, 50.0 FG%, 46.8 3P%, 83.3 FT%, 1.0 rebound; season totals of 10 assists, 3 steals, 4 blocks
Up next — 1 p.m. Saturday at Baylor, CBS; 8 p.m. Wednesday at Oklahoma State, ESPN+

Photos via @TexasTechMBB


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