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Red Raiders defeat Bethune-Cookman 79-44


Texas Tech senior TJ Holyfield went off for 20 points and six rebounds and freshman Jahmi'us Ramsey added 13 points and nine rebounds to help lead the Red Raiders to a 79-44 non-conference win over Bethune-Cookman on Saturday at the United Supermarkets Arena.

The No. 13-ranked Red Raiders (2-0) extended their non-conference home winning streak to 49 games and are now 2-0 for the fourth straight season under head coach Chris Beard after limiting the Wildcats (1-1) to 29.8 percent shooting and forcing 21 turnovers. Holyfield finished the game shooting 8-for-11 from the field, while Chris Clarke added eight rebounds in the win. Kyler Edwards and Davide Moretti each had five assists, Clarence Nadolny added four more and Clarke had three in a game where the team assisted on 22 shots.

"The first thing that jumps out is 28 made baskets on 22 assists," said Beard, who is now 52-5 at home. "That means you're playing team basketball, you're moving the ball and that's our plan. Whether we can execute it consistently is yet to be determined. But, 22 assists is an impressive stat."

Texas Tech will return to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against Houston Baptist at the Chaparral Center in a neutral-court game in Midland. The Red Raiders are 6-0 all-time against the Huskies with the last meeting coming in Beard's first game leading the program to begin the 2016-17 season. The Red Raiders will return to the USA to host Tennessee State on Thursday, Nov. 21. The Red Raiders have sold out their first two games at 15,098.

Ramsey, who scored 19 in the season-opening win over Eastern Illinois on Tuesday, followed that performance by also having two assists to go along with his 13 points and nine rebounds. He was 4-for-6 at the free-throw line for the Red Raiders who were 16-for-22 at the line. Davide Moretti scored 13 points for the second straight game, going 3-for-4 on 3-pointers and 2-for-2 at the free-throw line. Moretti is now 4-for-4 at the line this season after leading the nation at 92.4 percent last year. He's currently 6-for-8 on 3-pointers through two games to begin his junior season.

Edwards added nine points and three rebounds to his five assists in the game, while Avery Benson scored a career-high six points after knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. Terrence Shannon, Jr. went for eight points in limited minutes after starting but getting in foul trouble early and Kevin McCullar scored four points off the bench for the second straight game.

With Holyfield leading the team with 20 points and Clarke at eight rebounds a game after contributing eight assists, Beard said the seniors are showing their leadership and productivity on the court.

"It's early, but I'm proud of those guys," Beard said. "Starting with Chris, I think he's doing a great job letting the game come to him. To me, he plays like a pro out there. He's not chasing baskets or stats, he's just playing. He's been a calming influence and is getting a lot of people involved. I think he's got a chance to be one of the best passers I've ever coached. He's off to a great start on the court. Holyfield has had two impressive games in terms of the stat sheet, but equally important is the leadership he's bringing. Tonight is the first night I got a piece of him a little bit, and I coached him hard. I thought he responded. I told him after the game, 'I'm enjoying coaching you right now.' Those two seniors are off to great starts for us. We're not 2-0 without those guys."

The Red Raiders limited the Wildcats (1-1) to 17-for-57 shooting in the game after winning their opener 110-68 over Johnson. BCU made 43 shots in that opening game before being stifled by Tech which had five blocked shots and held them to 3-for-17 on 3-pointers. Malik Maitland led the Wildcats with 13 points, while Isaiah Bailey added 11.

Texas Tech took a 21-point lead into halftime at 40-19 led by Holyfield who had 10 points. The Red Raiders had forced 13 turnovers, shot 51.7 percent on offense and limited the Wildcats to only 36.0 percent shooting. Edwards had nine points after the first 20 minutes of play after going 4-for-7 from the field, while Moretti had eight points after hitting two 3-pointers and also going 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. The Red Raiders hit four 3-pointers in the opening half with Edwards and Ramsey also having one each. The team was 6-for-8 at the free-throw line while the Wildcats did not attempt a free throw through the opening 20 minutes. Tech had 13 assists at halftime and was 15-for-29 from the field.

"I want to give a lot of credit to Bethune-Cookman," Beard said. "They came in here with a game plan. They were trying to score quick on us and were successful with that a couple of times. Then, they were grinding it out and scoring late in the shot clock. It was an impressive game plan. I'll be pulling for those guys. Whenever you play a team that you have a lot of respect for and you have a connection like we have with these guys, you pull for them."

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