Arms leads No. 13 Texas Tech to 76-50 win over Mississippi State | KLBK | KAMC

LUBBOCK, Texas — After Texas Tech landed in Lubbock following a double-overtime loss to Kansas on Monday, Adonis Arms got straight to work.

Arms, who played a season-low 11 minutes in the loss, went to the Womble Basketball Center for a 3 a.m. practice. On Saturday, he saw the fruits of his labor pay off.

Arms was thrust into the starting lineup against Mississippi State after Terrence Shannon Jr. was ruled out and he rose to the occasion, scoring 16 points to lead the No. 13 Red Raiders to a 76-50 victory .

The super-senior guard came out of the gates shooting, scoring seven points in the first 3:16 of the game and forcing Bulldogs coach Ben Howland into an early timeout.

Arms made three more jump shots before the end of the first half, tying his season-high 15 points before halftime.

“My teammates just gave me the ball and told me to shoot and keep shooting and shooting until you miss. And when you miss, shoot again,” Arms said.

He scored just one point in the second half, but his production extended beyond the scoreline – Arms also had seven assists.

Arms was one of many bright spots for the Red Raiders in the win, which was their second straight in the annual Big 12-SEC Challenge.

The Red Raiders fired the ball with deadly efficiency, making 61.7% of their shots from the ground. They moved the ball well, assisting on 20 of 27 baskets. Kevin Obanor, Mylik Wilson and Bryson Williams joined Arms as double-digit scorers.

“We were sharing the ball,” Mark Adams said after the game. “We ran different sets to get more movement.”

The Red Raiders outshot Mississippi State, forced more turnovers than the Bulldogs, and dominated points in the paint, edging out MSU 44-16 inside.

Defensively, Texas Tech’s primary mission was to stop Bulldogs power guard Iverson Molinar, who, like his namesake, is dangerous attacking the rim but can also get out and put down jump shots.

Molinar showed his skills with a quick eight points in the first 10 minutes of the game, but Texas Tech ducked down and held him to four points the rest of the way.

“It just makes things uncomfortable for (Molinar) because he’s the head of their snake,” Marcus Santos-Silva said of the team’s defensive plan. “So if we stop him, we can get the win.”

Molinar’s scoring kept the game close in the opening minutes, but the Red Raiders finished the first half on a 20-7 run, opening a 37-22 halftime lead. A 3-point Obanor early in the second half gave them a 20-point lead and MSU was never able to sweat them for the rest of the game.

The offense was a struggle for the Bulldogs, who typically thrive on scoring around the rim. The Red Raiders played their usual sound, a defense without a middle, blocking any path to the basket. Mississippi State was unable to beat Texas Tech from the outside, making just four 3-pointers.

The Red Raiders didn’t miss a beat without Shannon, who managed just five points in the loss to Kansas. Having players like Arms ready to step in for him certainly helps.

Martin E. Berry