LUBBOCK, Texas — Keenan Evans calmly dribbled the ball past midcourt with the final seconds ticking off the clock in overtime. The Texas Tech guard then made a couple of moves to create separation from a defender and hit the winning shot.
Evans scored a career-high 38 points, the last the winning jumper as time expired to give the No. 10 Red Raiders a 73-71 win over Texas on Wednesday night.
“In that moment, I wanted to be the man for our team,” Evans said after relaying the message that coach Chris Beard has repeated to him more often in recent days.
“He’s always on me about, ‘Don’t be afraid of the moment. Go be the man,'” the senior guard said .
The sellout crowd often chanted “MVP!, MVP!” and reacted wildly to the winning shot by Evans, who then ran to the other end of the court near the students while being mobbed by teammates.
After missing a potential winning free throw with 3.4 seconds left in regulation, Evans scored six points in overtime. His winning 18-foot jumper from atop the key came after the Longhorns tied the game on a banked 3-pointer by Kerwin Roach.
Evans, who finished 9-of-13 shooting from the field, put the Red Raiders (18-4, 6-3 Big 12) ahead with a layup less than minute into overtime. Then on the ensuing possession, after grabbing a defensive rebound, Evans was fouled and made two free throws.
Texas (14-8, 4-5) overcame a 13-point deficit in the final 13 minutes of regulation and led 64-59 on a free throw by Roach with 1:25 left. But the Longhorns didn’t score again in regulation, and Roach then had all seven of their overtime points.
Evans missed a free throw, off the front of the rim, at the end of regulation after making his first to tie it at 64 after being fouled by Mohamed Bamba. That was the fifth foul by the Texas big man, and only the second miss by Evans on his 18 free-throw attempts during regulation.
That came 45 seconds after Evans was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three free throws.
Roach led Texas with 20 points while Matt Coleman and Bamba both had 12 before fouling out in regulation. Eric Davis Jr. had 11 points.
“We talk about response in our program all the time,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “It’s your ability to focus on the next most important thing.”
Texas: It wasn’t the worst loss for the Longhorns, who defeated the Red Raiders at home two weeks earlier. But it was an opportunity to get a resume win against a Top 10 team on the road.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders extended their unbeaten streak at home to 14-0, including two in overtime. Evans showed he can be an immediate spark with 17 points in the first half. He had scored a majority of his points in the second half to help Texas Tech get two gritty wins last week.
LOT OF FOULS
Texas and Texas Tech combined for 52 fouls. The Red Raiders made 24 of 37 free throws, while Texas was only 13 of 26 from charity stripe. Evans made 18 of 20 free throws while Texas had three players foul out of the game.
“Our guys are human beings,” Smart said. “They have to do a better job being machine-like and not reacting to things outside their control. Fighting human nature. It is frustrating when the best player from the other team goes to the line that much. Certainly there are things we could do better, so we’ve got to look into that.”
There was a sellout crowd of 15,098, and the fans stayed put throughout the game, even when the Red Raiders were down by five late in regulation.
“Things were pretty bleak there, and I didn’t see anybody leave,” Beard said. “No reason to leave. Whataburger’s open 24 hours. But it was a great crowd. Thank you students. Thank you season ticket holders. … Thank you for being patient with the parking and waiting in line to get a cold beer upstairs.”
Texas faces freshman sensation Trae Young for the first time when the Longhorns host No. 12 Oklahoma on Saturday.
Texas Tech plays Saturday at TCU, the only Big 12 opponent the Red Raiders haven’t faced yet this season.