No. 12 Texas Tech seeks progress vs. Tennessee St

Field Level Media

No. 12 Texas Tech has breezed through its first three games but could get a run for its money on its march through the non-conference schedule when it hosts Tennessee State on Thursday in Lubbock, Texas.

The Red Raiders (3-0) own a 49-game non-conference home winning streak.

Texas Tech, on the heels of a 103-74 win over Houston Baptist on Nov. 13, is averaging 89 points and a nation-leading 26 assists per game. The Red Raiders continue to be a defense-first team and have limited their first three opponents to 59.3 points per game and 36.7 percent shooting.

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Turnovers have been a problem, though, as the Red Raiders learn to play together. Texas Tech had 23 miscues in the win over Houston Baptist.

"Just too many," Red Raiders' coach Chris Beard said about the turnovers. "You look at the stat sheet, you've got 27, assists which means you're playing team basketball. You shoot almost [60] percent from the floor.

"So, I mean, literally you could have scored 140 or 150 (against Houston Baptist) if you don't keep handing the ball to the other team. We just have to be a lot more careful and confident with our ball handling."

Freshman guard Jahmi'us Ramsey scored 25 points, 20 in the first half, against Houston Baptist and has been the Red Raiders' best player early on. Ramsey leads the team in scoring at 19.0 points per game, and in all three of his showings as a Red Raider, he's reached double digits, with his 13 points in the year's second game being his season-low to this point.

He's also tops on the team in rebounding at 6.3 per game.

Tennessee State (3-1) travels to Lubbock following a 99-65 win over Fisk University on Monday in Nashville and a 79-78 victory over Lipscomb last week. The Tigers' lone loss came against Chattanooga in a 59-57 decision.

In his second season with the Tigers, coach Brian "Penny" Collins basically has a new team. After a 9-21 season, he's infused his locker room with talent, junior college signees and other veterans such as grad transfers Wesley Harris (West Virginia), Jy'lan Washington (Louisiana Tech) and Jon Brown (Georgia Tech).

The Tigers, from the Ohio Valley Conference, can spread the floor and shoot from beyond the arc.

"We haven't done anything yet, obviously, to me," Collins told The Tennessean. "It's hard for me to get excited about anything that we do yet. But I do believe this team could be a special team and has a chance to contend for one of the top spots in the OVC."

Tennessee State is averaging 85.3 points per game through four games and is shooting 54.2 percent from the field. It owns a plus-10.3 rebounding margin advantage over opponents and is averaging 16.5 assists per game.

With four players averaging double-figure scoring, the Tigers currently have a 18.3-point average margin of victory. Carlos Marshall, a sophomore, leads the team with 14.8 points per game and recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Fisk.

Emmanuel Egbuta, a senior, leads the team with seven rebounds per game.

The Red Raiders and Tigers will meet for the first time in history. Tech is 8-5 all-time against Ohio Valley Conference opponents following the 85-60 season-opening win over Eastern Illinois.

--Field Level Media

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