LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Jordan Tolbert scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Texas Tech to a 76-61 win over Houston Baptist in Tubby Smith's first game as the Red Raiders' head coach on Friday night.
Junior college transfer Robert Turner added 12 points, while Jaye Crockett had nine and seven rebounds.
Texas Tech began to pull away with 7:51 left in the first when Tolbert worked his way around two defenders for a one-handed slam to extend the lead to six 22-16.
The Huskies kept it close for awhile, but never regained the lead and trailed 33-25 at halftime.
Tyler Russell led the Huskies with 19 points and Rob Lewis added 12. HBU is a first year member of the Southland Conference.
The Red Raiders took their biggest lead of the night on an Aaron Ross 3-pointer with 4:09 left in the game to extend the lead to 70-52.
In addition to Coach Smith, four players made their debut tonight for the Red Raiders: Turner, true freshmen Randy Onwuasor and Alex Foster and redshirt freshman Aaron Ross. Turner got the start at guard and the other three each played more than 10 minutes.
Texas Tech's overall size and athleticism proved to be the difference tonight as the Red Raiders outscored Houston Baptist 46-18 in the paint and won the rebound battle 42 to 33.
Foster came off the bench and pulled down seven boards of his own and adding five points in just 12 minutes of play.
Dejan Kravic, a 7-footer, added three blocks and six points for the Red Raiders and guard Dusty Hannahs added seven. Hannahs, who is typically Tech's top long-range shooter missed on all three of his attempts as the Red Raiders shot just 17.6 percent from the arc as a team.
Tonight was also Tolbert's birthday, which he celebrated by shooting 8 of 14 from the field and made a living off of second-chance points, by way of tip-ins and dunks. The Red Raiders had 19 to HBU's eight.
The Red Raiders out-shot the Huskies from the field, 46.4 percent to 37 percent. Lewis shot just 2 of 16 on the night for HBU.
With 13:54 left in the game, Toddrick Gotcher stole an in-bounds pass and took it the distance for a layup to extend the lead to 16.
Sophomore Cody Joyce added 11 points for the Huskies, shooting 5-of-7 from the field, while Dauson Womack and Cody Stetler each grabbed six boards for Houston Baptist.