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Evans leads No. 14 Texas Tech to 70-63 win over SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) As soon as Keenan Evans saw his go-ahead 3-pointer go through the net, the Texas Tech senior had a message for the Red Raiders.

''OK, we're here,'' Evans told them. ''Let's finish this game.''

Thanks to Evans, No. 14 Texas Tech did. Evans scored 31 points and Texas Tech rallied from five points down with 6 minutes left to defeat South Carolina 70-63 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday.

After the Gamecocks (13-8) built a 58-53 lead, Evans scored eight of his team's next nine points to move in front. His 3-pointer from left of the foul line put the Red Raiders (17-4) up for good, 62-61, with 2:12 left.

''Evans was coming at us every play because he's not going to allow his team to lose,'' South Carolina coach Frank Martin said.

Evans closed things out with a three-point play with 46 seconds left to secure the win in the teams' first meeting since December 1976.

Texas Tech outscored South Carolina 17-5 over the final six minutes.

Evans had four 3-pointers and made all 13 of his foul shots. Zhaire Smith scored 11 points, the only other Texas Tech player in double figures.

Evans felt the Red Raiders had gone passive early in the second half as South Carolina wiped out an eight-point deficit to take the lead. He took it upon himself to up his game down the stretch. ''Being aggressive is what I needed to do,'' he said.

Evans was nearly unstoppable in the second half. He made five of seven shots, three of them 3-pointers, and hit all eight foul shots.

''They locked in and we lost our mind,'' South Carolina's Chris Silva said.

The Gamecocks appeared to be on the verge of rallying against another Top 25 opponent. They came from 14 points down to top then 18th-ranked Kentucky 76-68 on Jan. 16, then were 11 points down at No. 20 Florida before their 77-72 win Wednesday night.

This time, though, South Carolina's rally came up short, as it missed six of its final seven field-goal tries.

Silva led the Gamecocks with 16 points before fouling out in the final minute.

BIG PICTURE

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders went into a massive shooting funk with about five minutes left in the opening half. They went 6 for 20 during a 20-minute stretch that saw them squander an eight-point lead and trail 58-53 with 6:20 left. Texas Tech came in sixth in Big 12 Conference shooting at 47.1 percent a game.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks have had a knack for coming out on top in ugly games, but aggressive play cost South Carolina in this one. Frank Booker was called for an intentional foul with the Gamecocks holding a lead, and two starters, forward Silva and point guard Wesley Myers, fouled out. Texas Tech made 23 of its 28 foul shots.

LOUD CROWD

Red Raiders coach Chris Beard gushed about the loud atmosphere at South Carolina, particularly in the second half when Zhaire Smith missed two foul shots with less than 7 minutes left that had the crowd of 14,142 roaring. When told it was part of a promotion that gave fans a free chicken sandwich, Beard chuckled, then looked around for any Texas Tech administrators. ''Can we get in on that?'' he joked.

UP NEXT

Texas Tech goes home to play Texas on Wednesday night.

South Carolina finishes a two-game homestand against Mississippi State on Wednesday night.

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Key Players
K. Evans
12 G
M. Kotsar
21 F
27.2 Min. Per Game 27.2
8.6 Pts. Per Game 8.6
1.7 Ast. Per Game 1.7
4.8 Reb. Per Game 4.8
48.3 Field Goal % 46.3
33.7 Three Point % 22.2
82.8 Free Throw % 52.0
  Defensive rebound by Norense Odiase 0.0
  Hassani Gravett missed 3-pt. jump shot 2.0
+ 1 Keenan Evans made 2nd of 2 free throws 6.0
+ 1 Keenan Evans made 1st of 2 free throws 6.0
  Personal foul on Frank Booker 6.0
+ 2 Felipe Haase made jump shot, assist by Justin Minaya 7.0
  Offensive rebound by South Carolina 10.0
  Frank Booker missed 3-pt. jump shot 12.0
+ 1 Norense Odiase made 2nd of 2 free throws 17.0
  Norense Odiase missed 1st of 2 free throws 17.0
  Personal foul on Chris Silva 17.0
Team Stats
Points 70 63
Field Goals 20-47 (42.6%) 19-51 (37.3%)
3-Pointers 7-16 (43.8%) 5-26 (19.2%)
Free Throws 23-28 (82.1%) 20-27 (74.1%)
Total Rebounds 28 32
Offensive 10 12
Defensive 17 18
Team 1 2
Assists 10 13
Steals 7 6
Blocks 5 0
Turnovers 14 15
Fouls 24 28
Technicals 0 0
31 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST
16 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo 14 Texas Tech 17-4 304070
home team logo South Carolina 13-8 263763
Team Stats
away team logo 14 Texas Tech 17-4 74.6 PPG 39.2 RPG 14.3 APG
home team logo South Carolina 13-8 70.1 PPG 40.6 RPG 12.8 APG
Key Players
12
K. Evans G 17.6 PPG 3.1 RPG 3.2 APG 47.1 FG%
30
C. Silva F 14.3 PPG 8.0 RPG 1.2 APG 46.7 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Evans G 31 PTS 3 REB 3 AST
C. Silva F 16 PTS 5 REB 1 AST
42.6 FG% 37.3
43.8 3PT FG% 19.2
82.1 FT% 74.1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Evans 35 31 3 3 0 0 3 3 7/12 4/6 13/13 1 2
Zh. Smith 27 11 7 3 1 3 1 3 5/11 0/0 1/4 3 4
N. Odiase 12 7 4 1 1 0 2 4 2/2 0/0 3/4 2 2
J. Culver 34 5 4 1 3 0 1 2 1/5 1/3 2/2 1 3
J. Gray 23 0 2 1 1 2 0 3 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Evans 35 31 3 3 0 0 3 3 7/12 4/6 13/13 1 2
Zh. Smith 27 11 7 3 1 3 1 3 5/11 0/0 1/4 3 4
N. Odiase 12 7 4 1 1 0 2 4 2/2 0/0 3/4 2 2
J. Culver 34 5 4 1 3 0 1 2 1/5 1/3 2/2 1 3
J. Gray 23 0 2 1 1 2 0 3 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Hamilton IV 16 9 6 0 1 0 1 4 3/6 1/3 2/2 3 3
B. Francis 15 3 1 0 0 0 2 1 1/3 1/2 0/0 0 1
N. Stevenson 24 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 0
M. Ondigo 8 2 0 0 0 0 3 1 0/2 0/0 2/2 0 0
D. Moretti 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0/1 0/1 0/1 0 0
Za. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Sorrells - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Benson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Hicks - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Webster - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 70 27 10 7 5 14 24 20/47 7/16 23/28 10 17
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Silva 29 16 5 1 2 0 4 5 4/6 1/2 7/10 2 3
J. Minaya 28 11 5 2 0 0 0 4 5/11 0/3 1/1 4 1
M. Kotsar 32 7 7 2 2 0 2 0 3/7 0/1 1/2 3 4
E. Hinson 9 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0/1 0/1 3/4 0 0
W. Myers 22 2 1 4 0 0 2 5 0/4 0/3 2/4 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Silva 29 16 5 1 2 0 4 5 4/6 1/2 7/10 2 3
J. Minaya 28 11 5 2 0 0 0 4 5/11 0/3 1/1 4 1
M. Kotsar 32 7 7 2 2 0 2 0 3/7 0/1 1/2 3 4
E. Hinson 9 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0/1 0/1 3/4 0 0
W. Myers 22 2 1 4 0 0 2 5 0/4 0/3 2/4 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
F. Haase 11 11 2 1 0 0 0 2 4/5 1/2 2/2 1 1
F. Booker 25 9 5 1 1 0 3 5 3/9 3/9 0/0 2 3
H. Gravett 23 2 5 1 0 0 2 4 0/3 0/2 2/2 0 5
D. Beatty 14 2 0 1 1 0 0 1 0/5 0/3 2/2 0 0
K. Gueye 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
K. Holden - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Corchiani - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Schmitt - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Cudd - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Famouke Doumbia - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 63 30 13 6 0 15 28 19/51 5/26 20/27 12 18