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Northwestern-Texas Tech rapid reaction: Wildcats throttled from start to finish in blowout loss

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Poor shooting and 15 first-half turnovers doomed Northwestern in an ugly performance.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Northwestern Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern was embarrassed on Sunday, losing to Texas Tech 85-49 in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Championship final at Mohegan Sun Arena.

This game was decided in the first half, where the Red Raiders (4-0) took advantage of silly turnovers and abysmal shooting from the Wildcats (3-2) to come away with some hardware. Senior Keenan Evans led all scorers with 25, while senior Scottie Lindsey had 20 as the lone bright spot for Northwestern.

Texas Tech got off to a hot start, opening the game on a 9-0 run. Evans had it going early, hitting his first two shots, both from downtown. The Wildcats, on the other hand, started the game with two turnovers and a miss, forcing head coach Chris Collins to call timeout.

Things wouldn’t get much better after that, though, with the Red Raiders stretching their early lead to 23-5.

Evans had a tremendous first half, scoring 17 points on an array of shots. He was draining triples, making three-point plays and putting immense pressure on the Wildcats’ defense.

Northwestern pulled to within 10 points in the first half but immediately gave up a 10-0 run in response.

The Red Raiders held Northwestern without a field goal for three separate stretches for a combined 14:56 during the first half, as the Wildcats struggled to get good shots and committed turnover after turnover. Those giveaways were killer, as Texas Tech scored 26 points off of 15 turnovers in the first half.

Lindsey was Northwestern’s only consistent source of offense in the first half, scoring 17 of the Wildcats’ 25 points, including a three-quarter court heave at the buzzer. Senior Bryant McIntosh, the team’s leading scorer coming into the game, was invisible during the first half, missing all four of his shots and turning the ball over five times. He didn’t score until the 16:27 mark of the second half.

Northwestern never made a big run after the break, while Texas Tech continued to dominate. The Red Raiders made seven triples in the second half, while the Wildcats shot a miserable 20 percent from the field. Texas Tech went up by as many as 41 points, including a 20-0 run. Collins emptied his bench down the stretch.

Northwestern, which just played four games in eight days, gets a break and will take on Sacred Heart (1-3) at Allstate Arena on Friday.