INDIANAPOLIS — Playing their first true road game of the season, and only one of non-conference play, the Texas Tech basketball team came up short with a 103-93 loss to Butler in overtime on Thursday night in Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The Red Raiders led 77-75 with 2:23 left and an 81-80 lead with 1:17 left. A 3-pointer and a Pop Isaacs drive later, the two teams headed to overtime. There, the Bulldogs kept their offense going while the Red Raiders couldn’t string enough stops together.
First half positives
Sharing the ball was part of what made the Texas Tech offense hum in the final game-and-a-half in the Bahamas and was the catalyst early against Butler.
Joe Toussaint went into the break with eight assists (which tied a season-high) and the Red Raiders finished with 13 assists on 14 made shots.
Chance McMillian provided a much-needed spark off the bench, hitting four 3-pointers (matching the Bulldogs’ makes from the outside as a team) for a game-high 12 points at that point.
The Red Raiders only had three turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
WATCH: Pop Isaacs puts Texas Tech basketball up for good in exhibition win over Texas A&M
Pop Isaacs hit a shot and forced a turnover see put Texas Tech basketball up for good in the exhibition win over Texas A&M.
First half negatives
Butler’s pick-and-roll attack created a number of issues for the Red Raiders.
Led by Posh Alexander (six assists in the first half), the Bulldogs had little resistance in getting to the bucket. Butler had 22 points in the paint for their 45-38 advantage.
Foul trouble by Darrion Williams (three) and Devan Cambridge (two) threw a wrench into Tech’s defensive scheme as well.
The Bulldogs held a 19-14 advantage on the glass.
Second half positives
There was a lot to like about the second half, and not just because of the comeback. The Red Raiders went to their small lineup with Cambridge at the five and instantly went on a run. The defense moved quicker, the ball continued to fling around the court and the deficit turned into a lead that stuck.
McMillian and Toussaint both set new career-highs with made 3-pointers and Toussaint with assists. Toussaint had 12 helpers and McMillian eight 3s.
Overall, Texas Tech assisted on 23 of their 35 made field goals in the game.
Second half negatives
The Bulldogs continued to pound the paint in the early going, scoring 14 of their first 17 points in the second half around the basket.
Butler ultimately got back into the game, forced overtime and came away with the win on the boards. The Bulldogs snagged 13 offensive rebounds, nine of them in the second half and overtime.
It was just a few, but missed free throws and the poor defense from the first half coming back cost the Red Raiders a key road win.
After four games away from home, the Red Raiders return to United Supermarkets Arena for their next two contests, starting with Wednesday’s matchup with Omaha (7 p.m. on ESPN+).