Tubby defeats G.G. in men’s basketball season-opener


Jarred Jones led all players with 12 rebounds and blocked two shots.

Loyola men’s basketball hit four 3-pointers in the game’s first three minutes and led by as many as 11 early on, but Texas Tech came back to defeat the Greyhounds, 71-59, in the season-opener for both teams on Friday night.

Jarred Jones led all players with 12 rebounds and blocked two shots.
Jarred Jones led all players with 12 rebounds and blocked two shots.

Loyola’s G.G. Smith faced his father and mentor, Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith. Both are beginning their second seasons with their respective programs—Tubby Smith came to Texas Tech after spending 22 seasons as the head coach for Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota. He led Kentucky to the national championship in 1998.

“It was great, it was a lot of fun,” G.G. said after the game. “In a way, I’m a little glad it’s over; I am sure my mom is glad it’s over.”

Junior Tyler Hubbard hit a pair of threes, and classmate Franz Rassman added a third before junior Eric Laster hit the Greyhounds’ fourth in as many attempts with 17:07 left in the first half, giving Loyola an early 12-2 lead.

Another Laster three with 15 minutes left in the first half made it 15-4 Loyola, and the junior guard would hit a basket in the paint 1:28 later to make it 17-6 in the Greyhounds’ favor. Devaugntah Williams made a three for the Red Raiders, cutting their deficit to single digits with 12:33 left in the frame, but Loyola freshman Andre Walker scored his first collegiate points on an 18-foot jumper on the ensuing Greyhounds possession to push the lead back to 10.

Toddrick Gotcher and Williams made back-to-back threes for Texas Tech, cutting Loyola’s lead to four, 19-15, and the Greyhounds would hold on to a lead of fewer than five points for the next several minutes.

Texas Tech’s Norense Ordiase tied the game for the second time with a free throw with five minutes left in the half, but neither team scored for the next 1:17 until the Red Raiders took their first lead of the game, 30-29, on a Keenan Evans free throw. Evans later hit two more free throws with 52 ticks left in the half to push Texas Tech up four, but junior Jarred Jones hit two free throws for Loyola before the break to make it 35-33 Red Raiders at halftime.

Texas Tech used better defensive pressure and good post play early in the second half to build an 11-point lead, 49-38, on a Williams three with 14:44 left in the game. The Red Raiders extended their lead to 16 on four occasions later in the half.

Walker led all scorers with 17 points in just 24 minutes of action in his college debut for the Hounds, and Jones had a game-high 12 rebounds to go with nine points and two blocked shots. Laster added 15 points, and Hubbard scored 12 for the Greyhounds to go with four baskets from beyond the arc. Odiase led Texas Tech with 16 points and 10 rebounds in his collegiate debut.

Denzel Brito, the lone senior on the team, had four assists for Loyola to lead all players. Odiase was one of four Red Raiders in double figures, as Williams scored 13, and Evans and Gotcher each tallied 10. The Greyhounds will host non-conference rival UMBC on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on MASN.