No. 25 Texas Tech returns to rankings, tops Red Wolves
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Kevin McCullar scored 21 points, and No. 25 Texas Tech celebrated its return to the national rankings with a 75-62 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
The Red Raiders (8-1), national finalists in 2019, were coming off a five-point overtime victory against then-No. 13 Tennessee that got them ranked in The Associated Press' Top 25 for the first time under first-year coach Mark Adams.
Texas Tech didn't overlook an outmatched Sun Belt Conference team sandwiched between ranked opponents. The Red Raiders face fifth-ranked Gonzaga in a neutral-site game in Phoenix on Saturday.
Winthrop transfer Adonis Arms scored 15 points, and Bryson Williams, who came in from UTEP, added 12. The pair combined with McCullar to go 17 of 24 from the field as the Red Raiders shot 56%.
Markise Davis scored 17 points and Marquis Eaton added 15 for Arkansas State (7-3), which led the series 3-1 coming in and had won the most recent meeting 79-76 in Lubbock in 1993.
Marcus Santos-Silva, who was limited to three minutes against Tennessee because of a sprained big toe, scored all six of his points during a 25-6 run that gave Texas Tech its first 20-point lead at 41-21. Santos-Silva went scoreless against the Volunteers, a first for the VCU transfer in a season-plus with the Red Raiders.
McCullar, Arms and Williams combined to go 7 of 11 from 3-point range, accounting for all of Texas Tech's made 3s. McCullar was 3 of 6 and Arms 2 of 3, while Williams made both of his attempts.
Davion Warren missed all four of his attempts from long range and still finished with 11 points while tying McCullar for the team high with five rebounds.
Desi Sills, Arkansas State's leading scorer at 16 points per game coming in, missed all six of his shots, including four from long range, and scored three points.
Arkansas State: Two of the Red Wolves' three losses have been in true road games against ranked teams. The other was 92-53 against preseason No. 11 Illinois in the second game. Even though the Illini have since dropped out of the poll, both games should help prepare Arkansas State for the Sun Belt schedule.
Texas Tech: The new ranking means the Red Raiders have been in The Associated Press poll five consecutive seasons, beating the previous best of four in a row from 2001-05 under Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight. The first four in this run were with Chris Beard, who left to coach Texas, his alma mater.
Arkansas State: Air Force visits Sunday to start a four-game homestand.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are 3-0 against Gonzaga, with victories in 2005, 2007 and the Elite 8 in 2019, when Texas Tech lost to Virginia in overtime in the title game.
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