SAN DIEGO – Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 20 points and set a dominating tone in the opening minutes for Texas Tech, which overwhelmed Montana State 97-62 Friday with one of the best-shooting games in the first round since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Bryson Williams also scored 20 points for Texas Tech (26-9), which shot 66.7% (36 of 54) from the field, including making 12 of 20 3-pointers. At one point the Red Raiders were trending toward breaking Syracuse’s record of 67.9% (38 of 56) against Southern Illinois in 1995. They settled for a tie for fourth.
Texas Tech, the No. 3 seed in the West Region, was too big, quick and talented for the Bobcats (27-8), who were making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996. The Red Raiders will play either No. 6 seed Alabama or 11th-seeded Notre Dame in the second round.
The Big Sky champion Bobcats won the opening tipoff and Shannon welcomed them back to March Madness by blocking Amin Adamu’s shot. Two possessions later, Shannon hit the first of his 3-pointers in the first four minutes to erase Montana State’s only lead.
Xavier Bishop led Montana State with 12 points.
The Red Raiders led 18-4 less than five minutes in after hitting four 3-pointers, blocking two shots and forcing the Bobcats into a shot clock violation.
Texas Tech took a 52-25 halftime lead, using a swarming defense to feed an impressive combination of 3s and inside shots. Kevin Obanor worked the baseline for two reverse layups and had a slam dunk.
Williams, named to the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 Newcomer Team, had two of the Red Raiders’ seven 3s in the first half. He scored 12 points in the second half.
Adonis Arms had 15 points and while Obanor had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Texas Tech. Kevin McCullar and Davion Warren added 10 points apiece.
Montana State coach Danny Sprinkle was a freshman at his alma mater 26 years ago, the last time the Bobcats reached the NCAAs. They were seeded No. 13 and lost to No. 4 seed Syracuse 88-55.
Texas Tech’s Williams was playing in his first NCAA Tournament game, and in his home state, no less. The super senior spent two seasons with Fresno State in his hometown before spending three seasons at UTEP and then moving on to Texas Tech this season.
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