NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Northern Kentucky vs Texas TechMar 22, 2019; Tulsa, OK, USA; Northern Kentucky Norse guard Zaynah Robinson (5) shoots around Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Kyler Edwards (0) during the second half in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at BOK Center. The Texas Tech Red Raiders won 72-57. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver recorded 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Texas Tech to a 72-57 victory over Northern Kentucky on Friday in West Region first-round play of the NCAA Tournament at Tulsa, Okla.
Senior forward Tariq Owens contributed 12 points and five blocked shots for the third-seeded Red Raiders (27-6). Sophomore guard Davide Moretti had 10 points and senior guard Matt Mooney added nine points, eight assists and five steals.
Texas Tech will face No. 6 seed Buffalo, which routed Arizona state later Friday, in Sunday's second round.
Northern Kentucky senior power forward Drew McDonald, the Horizon League Player of the Year, had just five points on 2-of-13 shooting.
The Norse shot 37.1 percent from the field, including 5 of 22 from 3-point range. Sharpe was 4 of 7 from long range.
Northern Kentucky was hurt by 17 turnovers while falling to 0-2 in NCAA Tournament play.
"I thought we stayed committed to defense, it was one of our better games," Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said of the defensive performance in a postgame interview with TNT. "We guarded the 3-point line with urgency."
Culver went 3 of 5 from 3-point range as the Red Raiders were 6 of 17 overall. Texas Tech shot 52.8 percent from the field.
The Norse were within three early in the second half before Texas Tech used a 13-3 burst to open up a 47-34 advantage with 14:15 remaining.
A short time later, Mooney knocked down a jumper to give the Red Raiders a 53-38 lead with 11:03 left.
Culver buried a straight-away 3-point to increase the advantage to 60-43 with 8:35 to play.
Texas Tech increased its lead to 70-50 on a layup by Moretti with 2:37 remaining.
Culver scored 12 first-half points as Texas Tech led 30-26 at the break.
The Red Raiders scored the first six points but Northern Kentucky recovered to take a 13-12 edge on Sharpe's 3-pointer with 11:24 remaining.
Texas Tech rattled off eight straight points and 13 of the next 17 to open up an eight-point lead.
--Field Level Media