MSU men fall to Texas Tech in NCAA tournament opener

MSU men fall to Texas Tech in NCAA tournament opener
Posted at 2:26 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 16:31:29-04

SAN DIEGO—Six Texas Tech players scored in double figures and the No. 3 Red Raiders decimated No. 14 Montana State 97-62 in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament on Friday.

The Bobcats finish the season 27-8, the most wins in a single season for MSU since the 1928-1929 season. It was MSU's first appearance in the Big Dance since 1996.

The 35-point margin was the largest NCAA tournament win in Texas Tech school history. Terrence Shannon, Jr., and Bryson Williams each had 20 for the Red Raiders.

Although an Abdul Mohamed bucket briefly gave MSU an early 2-0 lead, the Bobcats immediately looked overwhelmed on offense, getting two of their first five shot attempts blocked. Meanwhile, Texas Tech couldn't miss. The Red Raiders started 10-for-10 from the field and finished the first half shooting 72% from the field.

Tech forced the Bobcats into 16 turnovers and scored 23 points off those takeaways.

Xavier Bishop, who finished with 12 points to lead the Cats, scored a deep 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to send MSU into the break down 52-25. The Cats shot just 8-for-25 in the first half. In the second half, Tech continued the torrid pace.

Jubrile Belo, the Big Sky MVP and defensive player of the year, played with a leg injury and scored just five while adding three rebounds.

To date, the most recent Big Sky Conference win in the NCAA men's tournament came in 2006, when No. 12 Montana upset No. 5 Nevada.