DALLAS – Keenan Evans scored 19 of his 23 points after halftime and third-seeded Texas Tech surged late to top Stephen F. Austin 70-60 Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Big 12 runner-up Red Raiders (25-9) closed the game on a 13-2 run. Evans drove for a layup with 3:58 left, putting Texas Tech ahead to stay.
When Evans split through defenders with just over a minute left, he paused briefly to give a quick pose to the camera under the basket.
Evans had only four points in the first half, all on free throws while going 0 for 4 from the field. But he also ignited the highlight play of the night, chasing down an offensive rebound past midcourt and then throwing an alley-oop pass to 6-foot-5 freshman Zhaire Smith, who made a 360-degree spin in the air while completing the dunk.
Texas Tech will next play the winner of the Florida-St. Bonaventure game.
SFA (28-7), the Southland Conference tournament champion, led by eight points early in the second half was trying to take down a Big 12 opponent in an NCAA opener for the second time in three seasons. The Lumberjacks beat West Virginia in their last tournament appearance two years ago before losing to Notre Dame.
Ivan Canete had 17 points to lead SFA, while Shannon Bougues had 14, Kevon Harris 12 and TJ Hoyfield 10.
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