LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Keenan Evans scored 16 points and No. 24 Texas Tech defeated Kennesaw State 82-53 on Wednesday night for its first win as a ranked team in eight years.
The Red Raiders were ranked 22nd two weeks ago when they lost to Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden and fell out of the Top 25. They returned after handing then-No. 22 Nevada its first loss last week.
Texas Tech (8-1) rolled to a 42-19 halftime lead, holding the Owls to 4-of-19 shooting and outrebounding them 26-10. Kennesaw State (1-8) shot 33 percent for the game.
Tommy Hamilton IV and Zach Smith scored 11 points each and Justin Gray added 10 for the Red Raiders.
James Scott scored 19 points for the Owls and Tyler Hooker had 14, going 9 of 11 on free throws. Kennesaw State made more free throws (20) than field goals (14).
Texas Tech entered the rankings last month for the first time since the 2009-10 season, when the Red Raiders started 9-0, were ranked as high as 16th and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT.
Kennesaw State went almost 10 minutes without a field goal in the first half and trailed 34-9 when that drought ended on a jumper by Scott with 4:26 left before halftime.
Kennesaw State: Texas Tech was the latest opponent in a tough nonconference schedule that included Butler, Florida State and Washington. The Owls hope it will prepare them to be competitive in the Big South Conference.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders knew the game against Nevada was a chance to redeem themselves for the loss to Seton Hall and have a chance to return to the rankings. Now that they’ve done it, they have got a good shot at being in the poll when Big 12 play starts.
Kennesaw State: Bethune-Cookman at home Saturday.
Texas Tech: Rice on Saturday at Lubbock Municipal Coliseum, the first game on its old home court since 1999 as what’s being called “Throwback Night.”