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McCullar debuts, No. 13 Texas Tech tops Incarnate Word 79-51

NCAA Basketball: Incarnate Word at Texas Tech

Dec 29, 2020; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Micah Peavy (5) shoots against the Incarnate Word Cardinals in the second half at United Supermarkets Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Kevin McCullar scored 11 points in his season debut coming off an ankle injury and No. 13 Texas Tech cruised in a tune-up before Big 12 play resumes, beating Incarnate Word 79-51 on Tuesday night.

Marcus Santos-Silva also had 11 points for the Red Raiders (8-2), who got a brief holiday break after a two-point win at Oklahoma and are gearing up for back-to-back conference games at home.

Keaston Willis scored 13 points for Incarnate Word (1-4), but the Cardinals’ leading scorer was 2 of 9 from the field as the team shot 36% (15 of 42). Willis was 8 of 11 on free throws.

The Cardinals were playing for the first time in 24 days after four games were called off because of COVID-19 issues. They didn’t get to resume practice until Saturday because of quarantines.

McCullar, who became a solid role player during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, got a strong ovation when he came off the bench early in the game. The sophomore was 5 of 9 from the field while playing 12 minutes.

Kyler Edwards had 10 points and eight rebounds, going 2 of 4 from 3-point range. Texas Tech shot 30% from long range (6 of 20) after finishing below that mark the previous four games.

Mac McClung scored eight points with seven rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes, the most playing time for any Texas Tech player as coach Chris Beard used a 13-man rotation.


Incarnate Word: The Cardinals were 5 of 21 from the field in the first half after going 3 of 30 in the second half of an 87-37 loss at Texas Tech in their season opener two years ago. That’s 8 of 51 over two halves as Incarnate Word, which managed to get to 50 points by making 10 of 21 shots in the second half.

Texas Tech: All 10 Texas Tech players who got into the game in the first half scored, led by McCullar with nine points. They had 11 assists on 17 baskets, led by McClung with three as the Red Raiders built a 41-19 lead.


Incarnate Word: A New Year’s doubleheader of sorts against McMurry at home on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Those are the final nonconference games before the Southland Conference opener at Northwestern State on Jan. 6.

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders return to Big 12 play at home against Oklahoma State on Saturday. The only other scheduled nonconference game at the moment is Jan. 30 against LSU.