LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Sophomore forward Joel Ntambwe has left Texas Tech's program after the former UNLV transfer played only in only three games for the 17th-ranked Red Raiders.
Houston coach Kelvin Sampson heard the Texas Tech-heavy presence of a pandemic-limited crowd for the meeting of the old Southwest Conference foes on a supposedly neutral court in Texas. The 17th-ranked Cougars still turned aside a rally after running out to a big lead against the No. 14 Red Raiders and coach Chris Beard. Marcus Sasser scored 17 points playing close to home, Quentin Grimes added 15 and Houston never trailed in a 64-53 victory over Texas Tech on Sunday in a meeting of teams that went deep in the most recent NCAA Tournament in 2019.
One game into new-look Texas Tech's season, the wave of optimism that was impossible to miss seems to have been well-directed. A 101-58 rout of Northwestern State on Wednesday added fuel to that energy. A new challenge awaits Texas Tech on Friday when it continues a busy, season-opening stretch against Sam Houston State (0-1) in Lubbock.