Final: Texas Tech Red Raiders 80, Texas Southern Tigers 71
After a relatively slow first half, these teams came out firing in the second half. The two combined for 57 first half points, but 94 after the break.
As was expected, the play of Aaric Murray was a determining factor in this contest. He saw limited action in the first half due to foul trouble, but came out in the second half with renewed energy, leading the Tigers back into the game. His presence inside stopped what had been a dominant performance down low by the Red Raiders.
But Murray drew his fourth foul with about 13 minutes to go, and with him on the bench the Red Raiders got back to driving the lane and cleaning up the boards.
Jose Rodriguez nearly kept the Tigers in it by himself. He forced the issue in transition and got to the line frequently, and finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds.
In the end, however, the Tigers could not defend the paint. Murray fouled out, and the Red Raiders converted from the free throw line while Texas Southern missed several critical opportunities at the charity stripe.
Both teams continue their play in the Progressive Legends Classic. Texas Tech (3-1) will face South Dakota St. on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. at home in Lubbock. Texas Southern (2-3) has a tough task as they visit Stanford on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET in Palo Alto.