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Pop Isaacs scores 32 points, No. 25 Texas Tech rallies to beat No. 20 BYU 85-78

Sat, Jan 20, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Pop Isaacs scores 32 points, No. 25 Texas Tech rallies to beat No. 20 BYU 85-78

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Pop Isaacs scored 23 of his career-high 32 points in the second half and No. 25 Texas Tech overcame a 16-point halftime deficit to beat No. 20 BYU 85-78 on Saturday night.

Warren Washington had 19 points and nine rebounds and gave the Red Raiders (15-3, 4-1 Big 12) their first lead at 64-62 with a jump hook in the lane with seven minutes remaining. Texas Tech shot 63% in the second half.

Aly Khalifa scored a season-high 21 points and had seven rebounds for the Cougars (14-4, 2-3), who led by 17 in the first half but shot 35% with eight of their 12 turnovers after the break.

After falling behind 10-0, the Red Raiders went on an 11-0 run to start the second half before finishing the rally in front of a frenzied crowd to keep their home record perfect at 11-0 under first-year coach Grant McCasland.

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"What a remarkable atmosphere it was today," McCasland said. "I thought we did it with our defense and grit. The fight you saw in the second half is the fight they show every day."

Isaacs got them even for the first time at 62-62 with a steal and assist on Chance McMillian's layup with 7:32 to go.

BYU was back in front at 66-64 when Isaacs put Texas Tech up for good on a 3-pointer as the sophomore guard finished 6 of 9 from long range.

The Red Raiders scored the first 11 points of the second half in the first three minutes, and BYU's 16-point lead at the break was down to two with 13 minutes remaining.

"I thought they did an unbelievable job with their energy, especially pushing the ball in transition," BYU coach Mark Pope said. "We did a little bit of a poor job, uncharacteristic for us, actually, managing transition the first six minutes of the second half."

The Red Raiders were coming off a 23-point loss at No. 5 Houston after getting ranked for the first time under McCasland.

Isaacs, who has been cleared by Texas Tech's Title IX department amid a civil lawsuit claiming he sexually assaulted a teenage girl at a tournament in the Bahamas in November, had five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

"My teammates being there for me, able to have my back," Isaacs said in his first public comments since news of the lawsuit broke two weeks ago. "I'm having fun, playing basketball, the game I love. Honestly, everything's been pretty good."

BYU's Richie Saunders scored 16 points in his first start of the season with Noah Waterman sidelined for the first time this season. But he had just three points on three shots after halftime.

McMillian scored 14 points and made all five of his free throws as Texas Tech went 17 of 18 at the line.

BIG PICTURE

BYU: The Cougars are leading the nation in 3-pointers and were 10 of 20 from deep in the first half. But they cooled off after the break, making just three of 19.

Texas Tech: The defensive intensity in the second half fueled the comeback. The Red Raiders outscored the Cougars 17-2 in points off turnovers after the break.

UP NEXT

BYU: Host No. 5 Houston on Tuesday night.

Texas Tech: At No. 15 Oklahoma next Saturday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

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Article Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
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