AUSTIN (KXAN) — Round two of the Chris Beard bowl played out like a knockout battle Saturday in Austin.
Texas Tech delivered the first and last punch in the season series, beating the Longhorns 61-55 for the regular season sweep in front of a sellout crowd that featured a hearty mix of Red Raiders fans.
The Red Raiders have been a second-half team this week. Much like the win over Baylor on Wednesday, Texas Tech smothered the Longhorns in the final 20 minutes. Bryson Williams and Clarence Nadolny helped push Tech to a 10-point lead with 3:38 remaining in the game.
For most of the second half, the Longhorns were ice cold, struggling to score in front of Tech’s defense. Texas was able to get back into the game with defense, turning turnovers into points during a furious, last-minute 9-0 run.
Andrew Jones’ 3-pointer with 1:37 remaining put Texas within 56-55.
Down 58-55 with a minute left, Jones couldn’t get a close-range jumper to fall. Texas Tech iced the game from the free-throw line. Texas finished 28% from field-goal range.
Williams scored 17 to lead Tech, while Nadolny chipped in 14 points. Jones was the only Longhorn in double figures, scoring 20.
With two coaching staffs that know each others moves, the two teams battled in the first half to a 28-28 tie. Jones and Courtney Ramey scored 22 of Texas’ 28 first-half points.
Texas Tech ended the half on a 6-0 run and kept the pressure on to start the second half, building a seven-point lead at the 15-minute mark before the Longhorns scored.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Brock Cunningham and Jase Febres put the Longhorns on the board and Texas within one point at 35-34 early in the second half.
This is a difficult setback for a Longhorns team that appeared to be hitting its stride. Texas (19-8, 8-6) remains in fourth place in the Big 12 standings, facing TCU at home and West Virginia on the road next week.
Texas Tech (21-6, 10-4) is in second place in the Big 12 with an identical conference record to Baylor. The Red Raiders swept the Bears in the regular season.