- Associated Press - Friday, November 25, 2016

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texas Tech clinched its fifth win of the season on Friday, defeating Idaho State 91-58 behind Keenan Evans’ 16 points in an on-campus game of the Cancun Challenge.

“I think the Red Raiders played good,” Idaho State head coach Bill Evans said. “I thought we would do a better job defensively against them. I think they really wear you down as the game goes on.”

Niem Stevenson scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half, Anthony Livingston and Zac Smith added eight apiece, and Texas Tech led 40-29 at halftime.

“Tonight we shot almost 60 percent in the first half, we were playing pretty well,” Beard said. “It’s an early season, I don’t know if there’s enough data to really say we’re struggling offensively in the first half. You know, I’ll say this, in the second half we made some adjustments and give the players all the credit. They’re the ones executing.”

Evans scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and made five assists. Smith finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds for Texas Tech (5-1), which held a 31-17 rebound advantage, including 9-2 on offensive boards.

“I want to give Idaho State a lot of credit,” Tech coach Chris Beard said. “For the first half, we didn’t play as well as we wanted to, but I think a lot of that was because Idaho State played great.”

Justin Gray and Matthew Temple scored 11 each and the Red Raiders shot 61.4 percent from the floor (35 of 57) compared with 45.2 percent (19 of 42) for the Bengals, who committed 17 turnovers.

Gary Chivichyan led Idaho State (0-6) with 12 points and made four of seven 3-pointers.

PAINT DOMINATION

Texas Tech found success in the paint against Idaho State. The Red Raiders scored 38 points in the paint compared with the Bengals’ 16.

TALE OF TWO HALVES

Texas Tech led by 11 points at halftime. By the final buzzer, Tech had outscored Idaho State by 33 points. Tech shot 64.3 percent in the second half.

THE BIG PICTURE

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders improve to 5-1 on the season. Looking towards March is the goal for head coach Chris Beard’s team. With experience throughout the roster, the squad proved it could rally and could be a force in Big 12 Conference play.

Idaho State: The Bengals are still looking for a win. Bill Evans, named Big Sky Coach of the Year award last season, led the Bengals to an 11-7 conference record in 2015-16.

UP NEXT

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders will have five days off before their next contests against Incarnate Word, a team that nearly upset No. 22 Texas on Nov. 11, 78-73. The Cardinals will visit to Lubbock for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday in the United Supermarkets Arena.

Idaho State: The Bengals will try for their first win of the year against Lamar at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday in the Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.

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