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Preview: TCU

“The following is a press release from Texas Tech Athletics”

LUBBOCK, Texas – The national spotlight will be on No. 14 Texas Tech and TCU in an ESPN Big Monday matchup at 8 p.m. at the United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders (16-4, 4-3 Big 12) are coming off a 67-64 SEC/Big 12 Challenge win over Arkansas, while the Horned Frogs (15-4, 3-3 Big 12) earned a 55-50 over Florida on Saturday. The two teams will meet for the first time this season and for the 133rd time dating back to the first matchup back in 1932.

Texas Tech is currently 11-1 at home this season and is 44-5 on its home court under head coach Chris Beard who is in his third season leading the program. The Red Raiders have limited their 12 opponents at home to only 52.0 points per game and to 32.8 shooting, while TCU will make the trip to Lubbock with a 1-3 record on the road but with a 4-0 mark in neutral-court games. The Horned Frogs earned a 65-61 win over Texas in their last conference game, while Tech is on a three-game losing streak in Big 12 play after dropping games to Iowa State, Baylor and at Kansas State. Tech and TCU will play again on Saturday, March 2 in Fort Worth.

The Red Raiders will be hosting a Big Monday matchup for the first time since hosting Texas on Feb. 6, 2006. The game in 2006 and the one on Monday will be called by Fran Fraschilla and sideline reporter Holly Rowe. ESPN’s Bob Wischusen will do play-by-play for the game in the return of Big Monday to Lubbock. On the radio, Geoff Haxton and Chris Level will broadcast on Texas Tech Sports Network’s flagship station Double T 97.3 in Lubbock. Fans can interact with the broadcast by following @GunsUpRadio on Twitter.

PROMO: The game has been declared a Red Out and the first 2,500 students will receive a Fireside Chat t-shirt and an additional 500 4:1 t-shirts will be given away courtesy of Cardinal’s. The first 300 students will also receive a Chic-fil-A gift card and the student lounge will be open and offering free food and soft drinks. 

UP NEXT: Texas Tech will return to action on Saturday when it travels to play Kansas at 3 p.m. in Lawrence. The Red Raiders earned an 85-73 win over the Jayhawks last season for their first win there in 17 games. TTU and KU split last year’s series with the Jayhawks winning 74-72 in Lubbock.

SERIES HISTORY: Texas Tech leads the all-time series against TCU by an 81-51 margin, including winning both matchups last season. The Red Raiders have won five of the last seven meetings in the series with the most recent coming in a 79-75 decision on March 3, 2018 in Lubbock. TTU is 45-15 against TCU in Lubbock, including getting a 39-24 win on Dec. 13, 1940 for its first win in the series. Beard is 3-1 against TCU.

PLAYER NOTES:Davide Moretti is coming off scoring a career-high 21 points against Arkansas after going 6-for-9 from the field with three 3-pointers. He would add six points from the free-throw line and also had two assists. Moretti, who is averaging 12.6 points per game over the past five games, hit two 3-pointers and finished with six points against KSU last Tuesday after having scored in double figures the first six Big 12 games this season. He was coming off scoring 13 at Baylor after finishing with 10 points against Iowa State in the previous week. Moretti now has 335 points through 57 games in his career, including recording a previous career-high 19 points in the first matchup against Kansas State where he also matched a career-high with four rebounds. Moretti is averaging 12.1 points and 1.3 assists in conference play after also going for 13 points at Texas and 12 points against the Sooners. Against Texas, Moretti was 3-for-6 on 3-pointers and also led the Red Raiders with three steals. He started Big 12 play by hitting a 3-pointer with two minutes remaining to give the Red Raiders a 55-54 lead at West Virginia. Moretti finished the game at WVU with 12 points after hitting two 3-pointers to give him 15 for the season. Moretti has started all 20 games for the Red Raiders this season after making one start in 37 games played as a freshman. A coach’s son from Italy, Moretti is averaging 10.4 points and 2.1 assists per game in his second season with the program. He has registered 17-point performances in wins over Southern Cal and Mississippi Valley State and has two games with six assists in non-conference play. Moretti made a career-high five 3-pointers against MVSU and has scored in double figures in nine games this season and 11 in his career. He currently leads TTU with 31 3-pointers and is shooting 39.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Jarrett Culver leads the Red Raiders with 18.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game after knocking down four 3-pointers and finishing with 15 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals against Arkansas on Saturday. A sophomore from Lubbock, he recorded 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a season-high five steals in Big 12 play last Tuesday at Kansas State. His four 3-pointers against the Razorbacks matched a season-high that he also had against Duke and was one off of his career high from last year when he had five against Seton Hall. The performance in Manhattan followed him going for 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists last Saturday at Baylor. Culver recorded his second double-double of the season with a career-high 16 rebounds and also 20 points against Iowa State and also had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists against Texas on Jan. 12 following his first double-double of the season with 23 points and 13 points against Oklahoma on his conference resume. He has led the team in scoring in 15 of 20 games and is currently averaging 17.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists through seven conference games. Culver is on the John R. Wooden Award, Jerry West Award, Oscar Robertson Trophy and Lute Olson Award watch lists, was named to the Sporting News Midseason All-America second-team and earned Big 12 Preseason Honorable Mention honors. He has scored in double figures in 19 of 20 games and is shooting 52.5 percent from the field overall and 47.8 percent in Big 12 play. Culver recorded a career-high with 30 points against Abilene Christian on Dec. 20 where he went 12-for-13 from the field and hit four 3-pointers. He was named the Big 12 Player of the Week after the performance and followed it by going to New York and scoring 25 points against Duke. Culver comes into the matchup against the Horned Frogs having scored 785 career points in 57 games as a Red Raider.

After losing five seniors off last season’s NCAA Elite Eight team, Texas Tech found a way to remain a veteran team through recruiting by adding graduate transfers Matt Mooney(University of South Dakota) and Tariq Owens (St. John’s) to go along with returners Norense Odiase and Brandone Francis to make up a senior class of four for the Red Raiders. Owens and Mooney were both named to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award Watch List, making TTU the only team with two members on the list of 15. An Odenton, Maryland native, Owens currently has 50 blocks this season after having three against the Razorbacks. He is currently seventh in program history for a single-season with those 50 blocks and one away from matching Devonne Giles (2003-04) for sixth. Tony Battie has the single-season record with 71 blocks in the 1996-97 season. Owens, who has had at least one block in all 20 games this season, came off the bench for the first time this season last Tuesday and responded by recording 12 points and six rebounds at Kansas State. He was 2-for-4 on 3-pointers and now has four 3s on the season. Owens, who returned to the starting lineup against Arkansas, had provided eight points, six rebounds and a block against Baylor last weekend in Waco and had three blocks and seven points against Iowa State after having four blocks against Oklahoma and Texas. Owens currently has 18 blocks in Big 12 play and is fifth in the conference with a 55.0 shooting percentage. Owens is averaging 2.6 blocks and 8.0 points per game in Big 12 play after also scoring 12 in the win over the Longhorns to go along with his four blocks. He led the BIG EAST the past two seasons in blocked shots before graduating and transferring to Tech. Owens established a new Texas Tech single-game record with eight blocks in the win over Memphis on Dec. 1 in Miami after starting his Red Raider career with six blocks against Incarnate Word in the season opener. Owens is averaging 8.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in his first season in Lubbock. He had a season-high 18 points against Southern Cal and recorded the team’s first double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in his eight-block performance against Memphis.

Mooney recorded 12 points on a 4-for-8 shooting performance with one 3-pointer and three free throws in the win against Arkansas. His conference season has been highlighted by scoring a season-high 22 points against Texas where he was 8-for-10 from the field with three 3-pointers. He opened Big 12 play with 14 points in both games against KSU and WVU and is now averaging 9.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.4 assists per game in Big 12 play. He is currently third in the Big 12 with 1.7 steals overall per game for the season. An Illinois native, Mooney started his career at Air Force before playing two seasons at South Dakota where he led his team in scoring both years. He is shooting 43.4 percent from the field this season, has scored in double figures in 10 games and leads the team with 33 steals after having two against the Wildcats. Odiase is in his fifth season at Texas Tech and has played in 110 games. He led the Red Raiders with seven rebounds on Saturday against Arkansas after pulling down five rebounds last week against ISU and also had four. He matched a season-high by scoring eight points against Oklahoma three weeks ago after going 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 at the free-throw line and then pulled down eight rebounds at Texas. He currently has 486 career rebounds with 90 this season. A Fort Worth native, Odiase is averaging 3.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game and is shooting 56.0 percent from the field. He had a career-high 13 rebounds in the win over Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 13 after a 10-rebounds performance against Mississippi Valley State. Odiase scored seven points to go along with his seven rebounds against Duke after going 3-for-4 from the field. Along with his career rebounding total, he has scored 545 points as a Red Raider.

Francis had his best scoring performance of the season after going for 14 points with three 3-pointers at Baylor. He scored his season-high at Baylor by going 4-for-8 from the field and 3-for-5 from the free-throw line in the game. He was also 2-for-3 on 3-pointers in the game against OU and helped spark the Red Raiders to the win. A Dominican Republic native, he started his career at Florida before transferring to Lubbock where he averaged 5.1 points per game with 33 3-pointers as a junior during the Elite 8 run, including a career-high 17 points in the win over West Virginia. He’s currently averaging 5.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game and is fourth on the team with 18 3-pointers this season for the Red Raiders. Francis had a previous season-high 13 points in the opener against UIW and would contribute 10 points and a career-high six assists in the neutral-court win over Memphis. He has scored 299 points in 57 games in his career for the Red Raiders after scoring five in the win over Arkansas.

Kyler Edwards leads the TTU reserves with 5.6 points and 1.6 assists per game in his freshman season after going for seven points against the Razorbacks. Edwards has scored nine points in two conference games so far, first in the home game against KSU and then against Iowa State. A freshman from Arlington, he has scored nine or more points in eight games this season and has recorded four double-digit scoring performances. Edwards recorded a career-high 19 points against Northern Colorado where he went 7-for-7 from the field with four 3-pointers. Edwards is shooting 41.7 percent from the field with 13 3-pointers. Texas Tech sophomore Deshawn Corprew is averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in his first season with the Red Raiders. A transfer from South Plains College, he has played in 19 of 20 games including a career-night where he recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against UTRGV. Corprew, who made his first career start in that game against UTRGV, was 6-for-8 from the field to match a previous career-high of 13 points that he also had against Northern Colorado. He also pulled down four offensive and six defensive rebounds for a new career-high in rebounding in the last non-conference game before Big 12 play. Corprew had three points and two rebounds against Arkansas. Texas Tech freshman Khavon Moore made his first appearance of the season against Iowa State with two minutes but has not played since. A Macon, Georgia native, Moore has been working through an injury that had sidelined him through the first 16 games of the season.

STAT RANKINGS: Texas Tech’s defense continues to lead nation by limiting opponents to 35.7 shooting on the season, while the team is second by holding opponents to 56.3 points per game and is third with teams shooting 26.1 shooting on 3-pointers. The Red Raiders are also national ranked in scoring margin (13.7), with 100 total blocks and are forcing 16.3 turnovers per game which ranks as the 37th best in the country. *This section will be updated on Monday after polls/stat rankings are released.

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