Red Raiders fall in Big 12 tournament final

No. 14 Texas Tech finished as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship runner-up after falling 74-65 to No. 6 Kansas on Saturday at the T-Mobile Center. 

The Red Raiders (25-9) were playing in the program's first Big 12 final since 2005, while the Jayhawks secured their program's 12th title in the Big 12 tournament. Tech shifts attention to the NCAA Tournament which will be announced at 5 p.m. on Sunday with the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Selection Show on CBS. The Red Raiders, who had split with KU in the regular season and trailed 37-36 at halftime, advanced to the finals after a quarterfinal win over Iowa State on Thursday and a semifinal win over Oklahoma on Friday. 

"We played a good offensive team and I thought our defense was good the first half," Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. "We held them under 40 percent and that's challenging to do and difficult against Kansas. Second half it wasn't quite as good, but we played a team that was really fast today and last night it was slow, so a lot of contrast. This will help us. I thought we improved in this game. I was impressed with a lot of things that we did, and I am proud of our guys' toughness. They continued to fight."

Bryson Williams and Terrence Shannon, Jr. were both named to the All-Big 12 Tournament Team after the game. Williams led the Red Raiders with 17 points, while Shannon had 14 with three first-half 3-pointers. Williams was 8-for-17 from the field in the game and also added four rebounds. Kevin Obanor gave Tech three double-figure scorers by going for 11 points and six rebounds in the game.

"We still have a lot of basketball to play," Williams said. "We're not finished. We have a lot of guys in the locker room that's learning from this and feeling that loss of a championship and guys that are hungry off this. So we're using this as fuel to the fire and we're going to stay hungry and be ready to bounce back."

Tech led 54-51 after Williams layup with 11 minutes remaining before KU went on a run to retake the lead and never gave the lead back. Another Williams basket with five minutes left made it a five-point game and it was 64-60 at the 3:08 mark with Williams scoring again. KU would grow the lead though and not let the Red Raiders get closer down the stretch.

Adonis Arms led the Red Raiders with eight rebounds and also had four assists, while Kevin McCullar led the team with five assists to go along with eight points and three rebounds. Marcus Santos-Silva added eight points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. Tech finished the game with a 36-30 scoring advantage in the paint and shot 44.3 percent from the field. KU was limited to just 22.7 percent on 3-pointers where it was 5-for-22 and shot 43.1 percent from the field.

"No one thought at the beginning of the year that we would make it to the Big 12 championship and probably get a high seed in the tournament," Santos-Silva said. "So just proving people wrong."

KU was 25-for-32 at the free-throw line, led by David McCormack and Christian Braun who were both 8-for-9 at the free-throw line. McCormack led KU with 18 points, while Braun had 14 and Jalen Wilson and Remy Martin both finished with 12. Tech was only 6-for-13 at the line, taking 19 fewer foul shots in the game but also struggling to hit the ones they took at a 42.6 percentage. 

"One of the obvious things, we've got to make our free throws and we've got to get to the foul line more," Adams said. "I think that was a big, big difference in this game. We've got to finish, find out ways to get better at drawing fouls and finishing those and making the free throws."

Tech trailed 37-36 at halftime after a 3-pointer from Williams with 15 seconds remaining in the half made it a one-point game. Shannon led the Red Raiders with nine points in the first half by going 3-for-4 on 3-pointers, while Santos-Silva had eight points and four rebounds to lead the reserves. Arms did not score in the opening half but led Tech with seven rebounds and three assists. Williams finished the first half with seven points while Obanor and McCullar had four each. Tech finished the first half shooting 15-for-32 (46.9 percent) and 4-for-11 on 3-pointers (36.4 percent). KU as at 11-for-28 (39.3 percent) and just 4-for-13 on 3-pointers. Tech owned a 16-10 scoring advantage in the paint going into halftime and a 22-15 rebounding margin. KU led by one after going 11-for-15 at the free-throw line while Tech was only 2-for-4.

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