January 30, 2007

Longhorns to enter hostile territory

The No. 22 Texas Longhorns will be on the road for a fourth time in five games Wednesday night when they take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (15-6, 4-2) at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock at 8 p.m. The Red Raiders are coming off a 71-58-road loss to Missouri, but played without two injured starters. Junior guard Charles Burgess has a bone bruise on his ankle, while senior big man Jon Plefka has a bone bruise on his knee.

Before the injury bug hit the Texas Tech, it posted home victories over top 10-ranked Kansas, 69-64. and Texas A&M, 70-68. The Red Raiders, 4-2 in Big 12 play, suffered their only other loss in conference play in Waco to Baylor, 73-70.

Senior guard Jarrius Jackson and junior small forward Martin Zeno lead Texas Tech. Jackson is averaging 19.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game while hitting on 49 percent from the three-point line. Zeno has become a very good all-around player for the Red Raiders, averaging 16.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

The injuries to Burgess and Plefka are key for Texas Tech as Burgess is the third leading scorer at 9.7 per game, while Plefka is a consistent role player averaging 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds. Against Missouri, head coach Bob Knight started a much smaller line-up with 5-7 Benny Valentine subbing for Burgess and the 6-3 Alan Voskuil starting for Plefka.

The Longhorns (15-5, 5-1) are coming off of an 84-79 win over Baylor in Austin with Kevin Durant again scoring more than 30. Durant scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds, hitting 9-of-10 free throws late to seal the Texas victory. Durant is averaging 32.7 points and 13.0 rebounds in Big 12 play.

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