Red Raiders run past Montana State 97-62

Bryson Williams and Terrence Shannon, Jr. scored 20 points each while Kevin Obanor recorded a double-double as No. 3 seed Texas Tech ran away with a 97-62 win over Montana State in the NCAA Tournament First Round on Friday at the Viejas Arena. Tech advances to the second round of the tournament for the fourth straight season and will take on the Alabama-Notre Dame winner on Sunday in the West Region.

"I couldn't be more thrilled with the way we played," Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. "It was one of our best games all year. We took Montana State very seriously. They are a very good program that is well-coached. We got out of the gate really well and had a great win. We can build on this. This team wants to play as long as we can."

The Red Raiders (26-9) went on a 12-0 run after MSU scored the first points in the game on the way to setting a new program record for the most points and largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game where they finished with a 66.7 shooting percent. Six players scored in double figures for Tech, led by Shannon and Williams who are the only teammates to both score 20 in the same tournament game in program history while Adonis Arms had 15 points and Obanor, Kevin McCullar and Davion Warren had 10 points. Shannon matched a career-high with six assists to go along with his 20 points.

"March Madness is unbelievable," Williams said. "It's a great stage. We try to feed our offense through our defense and did a great job with that today."

Obanor recorded his third double-double of the season, the 33rd of his career and his fourth straight in the NCAA Tournament after he also had three last year while playing at Oral Roberts. Obanor led the Red Raiders with 11 rebounds to go along with his 10 points which came on 5 of 7 shooting. Williams was 8-for-10 from the field and 4-for-5 on 3-pointers to get to his 20 points, while Shannon had 15 at halftime and finished the game with three 3-pointers and going 7 of 8 at the free-throw line.

"My teammates found me when I was open," Shannon said. "We all moved the ball pretty well today. We had a lot of assists and I just wanted to bring the energy to the game. I tried to do my best, play with energy, play good defense and find myself into the offense."

Tech finished the game shooting 12-for-20 on 3-pointers for the most in a game this season, had a season-high 23 assists on 36 makes and owned a 38-16 scoring advantage in the paint. Arms added five rebounds and three assists, while McCullar had four assists and two steals. Chibuzo Agbo scored a career-high eight points after hitting two 3-pointers late in the game, including the final bucket of the game for Tech.

Texas Tech took a 52-25 lead into halftime by shooting 72.0 percent from the field, including going 7-for-10 on 3-pointers. Shannon led the Red Raiders with 15 points by going 3-for-4 on 3-pointers and also making 6 of 7 shots from the free-throw line. Obanor, Williams and Arms each had eight points in a half where Tech trailed for only 18 seconds and led by as many as 30. Seven players scored in the half where Tech was 18-for-25 from the field. MSU was limited to only 8-for-25 (32.0 percent) but did make five 3-pointers going into halftime. Gazelas had two 3-pointers and led the Bobcats with six points through 20 minutes.

Tech's 52 points at halftime matched a season-high which it also had against Lamar, while the 27-point lead was its largest with 23-point advantages against Omaha and Eastern Washington being the previous season bests.

Montana State had its season end with a 27-8 record and a Big Sky championship. Tech is now 4-1 all-time against the Bobcats who were led by Xavier Bishop who scored 12 points.

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