LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Darrion Williams had 13 points and 13 rebounds, Kerwin Walton scored 12 points on four 3-pointers before halftime and No. 23 Texas Tech never trailed Saturday on its way to snapping a three-game losing streak with a 66-59 win over UCF.
Williams had a jumper with 1:46 left that put the Red Raiders (17-6, 6-4 Big 12) up 60-57.
That came on the possession after UCF (13-9, 4-6) missed a chance to tie the game for the first time since 4-4 when C.J. Walker missed the first of his two free-throw attempts. Texas Tech sealed the game with six free throws in the final 41 seconds, four by Joe Toussaint and two by Chance McMillian.
Toussaint also had a steal with 1:31 left and finished with 11 points. Warren Washington, after missing Texas Tech’s previous game because of illness, had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“We did a good job rebounding this time around,” Washington said. “Obviously rebounding is one of our weaknesses and that’s one thing that we’ve been really diving into in practice and working on.”
Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland said while his players weren't as physical as they needed to be when handling the ball in the second half, he was pleased with how they played defense and the 44-37 rebounding margin.
Darius Johnson and Jaylin Sellers has 14 points each for the Knights. Walker had 13 points and eight rebounds.
UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said guarding Texas Tech proved to be the challenge he expected coming into the game.
“So some of it is you just hope to slow down, and you know I thought things kind of slowed down a little bit,” Dawkins said. “Players of that caliber (are) hard to stop.”
While Texas Tech never trailed, it couldn't pull away from a UCF team that was coming off a win over then-No. 18 Oklahoma a week earlier and was trying to get its third win this season against an AP Top 25 team.
Pop Isaacs was averaging 19.4 points in Big 12 games for Texas Tech, but missed his first seven shots before a 3-pointer with just over 14 minutes left in the game made it 41-36. He finished with seven points on 2-of-13 shooting, but had a game-high six assists.
“He was really the ball mover that made the difference,” McCasland said. “I just think there’s some continual growth that he’ll have. ... He’s just one of those guys that always keeps getting better because he loves it.”
UCF: The Knights, who also beat Kansas earlier this season, have never won three games vs. AP Top 25 teams in the same season. ... UCF was playing without forward Ibrahima Diallo, their leading rebounder, because of a knee injury.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders bounced back a week after losing at home for the first time this season. They are 12-1 in United Supermarkets Arena.
Texas Tech had slipped eight spots in this week's poll after losing consecutive games for the first time this season. The Red Raiders then made that three losses in a row after falling to No. 13 Baylor on Tuesday night. They likely will drop out of the new poll on Monday.
UCF plays at fellow Big 12 newcomer No. 21 BYU on Tuesday night. The Cougars won 63-58 in Orlando on Jan. 13.
Texas Tech hosts fourth-ranked Kansas on Monday night.
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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball