BYU gets blown out by Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals

Hot shooting by Texas Tech and cold shooting from BYU. This year, that means we got to see the bad BYU team in this matchup.

Jaxson Robinson extends for a layup against Texas Tech
Jaxson Robinson extends for a layup against Texas Tech / Jay Biggerstaff/GettyImages

BYU looked unprepared and out of sorts from the tip-off until the end of the game against Texas Tech. In the rematch of the previous game where BYU gave up a big lead to the red-hot Red Raiders, the Cougars were never able to overcome the huge hole they put themselves in early, as Texas Tech cruised to an easy victory.

BYU fell behind by 23 points in the first half. Yes, you read that correctly. Texas Tech shot 70% from 3 in the first half, and BYU struggled to keep their percentage near 20%. In a game that was hard to watch from start to finish, BYU missed open 3s, lost big in the rebounding margin, and gave up too many easy shots to count.

Texas Tech will move on to the next round of the tournament and face the winner of Houston vs. TCU (it would take a miracle to see a TCU win). Pop Isaacs once again led all scorers against BYU, as he scored 15 points in the first half but cooled down a bit to finish with 22 points. Texas Tech was on fire from 3 all game. I kept waiting for them to finally start missing, but they never did, finishing the game on a blazing 9/19 shooting beyond the arc. The Red Raiders outrebounded a BYU team that prides itself on cleaning the glass, so whenever they did occasionally miss a shot, they were able to pile on second-chance points.

For BYU, they had a terrible first half, and a second-half run wasn't enough to bring the game back within reach. The Cougars spent most of the game down at least 20 points but would break back below that mark for a moment before allowing a Tech score on the other end. In the second half, the Cougs caught a momentary glimmer of hope in a 15-0 run, where shots finally started falling, and Texas Tech cooled off offensively. Jaxson Robinson hit two 3s in a row to bring the game within single-digits but was subbed out of the game as Richie Saunders hit two free throws that cut the lead to seven. At this moment, Coach Pope made a head-scratching decision that killed his team's momentum: he subbed out the hottest hand and leading scorer, Jaxson Robinson, for Trevin Knell, who had hit zero 3s in this game and was ice-cold from the field. On their first possession with a chance to cut the lead to 4, Knell bricked a 3-pointer and Texas Tech extended the lead on the other end.

Richie Saunders, Chance McMillian
Richie Saunders drives through contact / Jay Biggerstaff/GettyImages

Jaxson Robinson led BYU with 18 points and hit a team-high four 3s. BYU's leading scorers were all off the bench, as 3 players from BYU's reserves (Robinson, Saunders, and Traore) outscored the Cougars' starting 5 by themselves, 43 to 24. For players like Knell and Johnson, if they aren't scoring, they don't offer much beyond Johnson's rebounding ability, where he led the team with 7.

BYU won the second half of this game, which means I'll be losing sleep tonight thinking about what could have happened if they didn't get blown out in the first half. BYU has been a one-half team all season, and to see that nothing has changed from this standpoint is disheartening when looking forward to the NCAA Tournament.

Now, we'll have to watch and wait to see how the conference tournament shakes out and look forward to Selection Sunday this weekend.

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