The lights dimmed and a video highlighting Texas Tech’s 2007-2008 season played with rap artist Limp Bizkit’s song “Keep Rollin,” before the Red Raiders’ starting lineup was introduced. The Red Raiders did exactly that, as they rolled to an 81-47 season-opening win over the St. Francis Red Flash.
Nick Okorie, who made his debut at Tech, scored 16 points, making four of six three-pointers, one rebound and two assists. Okorie played at South Plains Junior college last season.
John Roberson scored 13 points and Trevor Cook scored 10. Alan Voskuil who averaged 13 points per game last season was held to eight, shooting three for seven on field goals.
Roberson, Michael Prince and Mike Singletary led the team in rebounding, with five each. Roberson led the team in assists with three and had three steals. The Red Raiders forced 23 turnovers against St. Francis.
Devin Sweetney and Marquis Ford led the Red Flash in scoring with 11. Mislav Jukic contributed 10 points. Sweetney led the team in rebounds with nine. Cale Nelson, Ford and Steve Profeta each had two assists. Ford led the team in steals with three. The Red Flash forced 15 turnovers against the Red Raiders.
Tech would have a streaky start in the game. St. Francis jumped out to a 6-0 lead with three pointers from Sweetney and Nelson. However, the Red Raiders would start rolling; Tech would go on a 12-0 run, with two three-pointers from Trevor Cook.
The Red Flash would go on a 7-0 run and reclaim the lead for the last time in the game. Jukic scored four points and a steal during the run, and Grant Surprenant made a three to give the Red Flash a 13-12 lead. The Red Raiders went on another run.
Okorie hit two threes within two minutes to put Tech ahead 20-13. Nelson responded for the Red Flash with a three to cut the lead back to four. After both teams exchanged scores, the Red Raiders would take over the game.
With the score 22-18 in favor of Tech, the Red Raiders went on a 12-0 run over the next five minutes and 43 seconds. Voskuil scored his five points during the run. The Red Raiders would lead 43-24 at halftime.
Tech started the second half where they left off going on a 21-9 run in the first 10 and a half minutes increasing their lead to 64-33. Roberson scored nine points during the run.
With Tech having a large lead, Pat Knight emptied his bench, letting every player play at least seven minutes. Seniors Rogdrick Craig and Damir Suljagic were the only Red Raiders to not score.
Knight enters his first full season as head coach after taking over the duties last season when his father Bob retired Feb. 4.
The Red Raiders will host Sam Houston State on Monday and Saint Francis will visit American University on Monday.