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Texas Tech brings win streak into game vs. UT Arlington


Steamrolling Texas Tech looks to close out its pre-Christmas schedule on a positive note Thursday when Texas-Arlington comes to Lubbock for an afternoon matchup.

The Red Raiders (8-2) bring a three-game winning streak into the matchup after a 76-54 romp past Vanderbilt on Saturday in the Coast-to-Coast Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Mavericks (6-4) played in the game right before Texas Tech in the event and edged Air Force for its best win this season.

It was particularly a great day for Mavericks transfer guard Phillip Russell. Playing for the first time after an NCAA decision cleared multiple-time undergraduate transfers, Russell erupted for 28 points against Air Force, bolstered by four 3-pointers.

With Russell as the catalyst, the Mavericks forced the Falcons into 19 turnovers that they converted into 25 points, which led to a double-digit lead for most of the second half.

“Air Force is an extremely hard team to prepare for the way that they play with the Princeton offense,” first-year UTA coach K.T. Turner said. “We came out and battled, and I was proud of that effort. We’ve got to get better at closing out games down the stretch, but at the end of the day we beat a Mountain West team and it was a great win.”

The Red Raiders were singing a similar tune after dismantling Vanderbilt for their third win of 20 points or more this season. Guard Pop Isaacs broke out with a season-best 19 points and a career-high seven assists, part of a night when Texas Tech racked up 22 assists on 26 made shots.

The Red Raiders shot 49.1 percent — 56.3 percent from the 3-point line — and sculpted a lead that grew as large as 24 points.

Chance McMillian contributed 14 points and was one of four Texas Tech shooters who knocked down two or more 3-pointers in a 9-for-16 performance from beyond the arc, the fifth time in 10 games with nine or more makes from deep.

“We got back to moving the basketball quicker and made the first play instead of waiting for a perfect one,” Red Raiders’ coach Grant McCasland said. “That better ball movement was about our guys being great teammates and believing in each other.”

–Field Level Media

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