Texas Tech, winless in Big 12 play entering the night, pulled off the biggest comeback in program history, erasing a 23-point, second-half deficit to stun No. 13 Iowa State 80-77 in overtime on Monday in Lubbock, Texas.
The Red Raiders (12-10, 1-8 Big 12) trailed 59-36 with 12:37 to go in regulation and were still down by seven with 2:36 to play. Texas Tech then displayed suffocating defense and a suddenly effective offense to rally.
Kevin Obanor led Texas Tech with 24 points, including 16 in the second half. De’Vion Harmon scored five of his 16 points in OT, including back-to-back dribble-drive buckets to put Texas Tech in front.
Obanor sank two free throws with 19 seconds to go for a three-point cushion, and Iowa State missed three tries from outside the 3-point arc in the closing seconds.
The Red Raiders ended a nine-game Big 12 losing streak in the unlikeliest of manners in a game that was part Texas Tech tenacity, part Iowa State meltdown.
Texas Tech’s largest comeback previously was a 99-94 overtime victory against Nevada on Dec. 27, 1997, when the Red Raiders escaped a 17-point deficit.
The Cyclones (15-6, 6-3) led by 20 or more points for most of the opening 10 minutes of the second half after Caleb Grill swished the sixth of his eight 3-pointers on the first possession after halftime for a 42-22 cushion.
Gabe Kalscheur’s layup with 10:47 to play nudged the Iowa State lead to 61-40. However, six Cyclones turnovers in just over five minutes generated 13 points during a 20-3 Texas Tech rally that whittled the deficit to 64-60 with 4:02 to go.
Iowa State extended the lead back to seven points twice in the final four minutes but just couldn’t slam the door. Obanor delivered a 3-pointer from the right corner to close the gap to 71-69 with 25 seconds on the clock, and after Texas Tech forced Grill to turn the ball over, Harmon knotted the score with two free throws with 21 seconds left.
The Cyclones had a chance to win in regulation, but a ragged final possession ended with Kalscheur missing a 3-point try, and Iowa State never gained the upper hand in OT.
Grill, returning to action after a one-game absence caused by a back ailment, led the Cyclones with 24 points. Kalscheur added 19 but shot just 8-for-19 from the field, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range.
–Field Level Media