Central Florida Knights vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 24th 2024

If there is one thing Texas Tech has done this season, it is not back down when the odds are stacked against it.

Four times this season the No. 23 Red Raiders have overcome a double-digit deficit, including Tuesday against TCU when they rallied from 10 points down for an 82-81 win.

“I’ve never questioned their fight,” coach Grant McCasland said after the game. “They love to play basketball and they love each other, and that can help you overcome a lot.”

Texas Tech (19-7, 8-5 Big 12 Conference) will look to keep fighting when they play at UCF (13-12, 4-9) Saturday in Orlando, Fla. The Red Raiders won 66-59 over the Knights on Feb. 10 and look to make it a series sweep, though they are 2-5 in road games.

But the Knights are struggling, dropping four in a row and six of their last seven, including a 77-67 loss at West Virginia on Tuesday.

UCF coach Johnny Dawkins is just looking for his team to get back on track in some form or fashion.

“There are no limits of what we can still do,” Dawkins said. “Everything is still right in front of us. We have to take it one game at a time and start to build. You can’t build anything if you don’t win one. We have to find a way to compete and win games as we finish off the season.”

The Knights face a Texas Tech team with a lot of balance in its offense, led by Pop Isaacs, who has paced the team in scoring 11 times this, including 19 against TCU. He is averaging 16.2 points per game.0

Joe Toussaint (12.6), Darrion Williams (10.5), Warren Washington (10.3) and Chance McMillian (10.1) are also averaging double figures.

The Red Raiders are putting up 76.5 points per game, shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from 3-point range, with Isaacs and McMillian hitting 58 and 50 3-pointers, respectively.

“They really shoot the basketball well. We’re one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country,” McCasland said.

UCF struggled to shoot from 3-point range in its loss to West Virginia, connecting on nine of its 38 attempts. The Knights are shooting at a 33.3 percent clip there and 41.6 percent from the field overall.

Darius Johnson, the team leader in 3-pointers made (49), poured in a career-high 29 against West Virginia and ranks second on the team in scoring (14.2). Jaylin Sellers is averaging 16.5 points per outing for a UCF team hoping to shake off a recent trend of slow starts, falling behind by double digits in four consecutive games.

“We have to come out and start the game like we finish the game, and that’s what I talked to our guys about at the end of the game,” Dawkins said.

The last time UCF and Texas Tech played, the Red Raiders led 31-25 at the half but the Knights got within a point twice in the second half before falling short.

–Field Level Media

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