Ever since former Texas Tech Head Coach Chris Beard left to join the Longhorns in Austin ten months ago, the Lubbock Red Raider fans have been waiting for a chance to show him what they thought of his move to their arch-rival.

That chance came on the night of February 1, and the Texas-Tech faithful left no doubt about their feelings toward Beard.

More than 15,000 spectators packed into the sold-out United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock. Many Red Raider fans walked over a doormat bearing the face of Beard. They gathered in unison to chant an expletive directed at Beard and the Longhorns on multiple occasions.

Homemade posters with digs at the former coach were also prevalent. One sign ranked the greatest traitors in history with Beard at No.1, followed by Judas, the former Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield (who transferred to Oklahoma), and Scar from The Lion King.

That Longhorns team bus encountered similar treatment when it arrived in Lubbock over the weekend. Hundreds of students supporting the Red Raiders briefly blocked the bus while performing obscene hand gestures and chants.

When Beard finally entered the arena (surrounded by security personnel), Texas Tech fans compounded to greet him with thunderous boos.

Then, the fans raucously watched while their 14th-ranked Red Raiders defeated the No.23 Longhorns 77-64.

“Tonight wasn’t about me, guys. I’m on the record my whole career. And you guys understand that I respect the opponent; and, I respect the game,” Beard insisted postgame. “And, congratulate Texas Tech on a good home win in the Big 12. Had a great crowd tonight: I thought it was a good college basketball game.”

Beard, a graduate of the University of Texas, spent five seasons head coaching in Lubbock and accomplished a 112-55 record. He took the program to heights it had never been before, leading the team to the national tournament quarterfinals in 2018. He followed that up by reaching the championship game the following season, with a 31-7 record. The Red Raiders lost the title game in overtime to Virginia.

Beard also assisted at Texas Tech from 2001-2011 under Coach Bob Knight and then Pat Knight. Through his time in coaching, he became close friends with now first-year Red Raider Head Coach Mark Adams.

Adams assisted under Beard in Lubbock and could have followed him to Austin. Instead, the 65-year-old West Texas native remained in Lubbock and is leading the No.14 team in the nation.

When Adams was asked postgame if he made the correct choice by passing on joining Beard in Austin, he responded: “Well, it looks pretty good looking through the rearview mirror.”

Kevin McCullar led Texas Tech in scoring 19 points, while Kevin Obanor added 17 points with five three-pointers. In all, the Red Raiders had a balanced scoring attack with four players scoring in double-digits. They made 47.1% of their shot attempts against the Longhorns, who entered the game allowing the fewest points per game in the nation.

“I’m relieved. I’m tired but also so proud. Just appreciative of the way our players played, they showed a lot of heart,” Adams said. “It was just such an awesome environment. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like that.”

Texas Tech (17-5, 6-3 Big 12) took control early as they fed off the energy of the crowd. After Texas took a 5-4 lead, the Red Raiders went on a 15-2 run. Thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Courtney Ramey, Texas battled back to bring the Longhorns back within three points with under eight minutes to go in the first half. Then, the Red Raiders outscored the Longhorns 21-10 the remainder of the half to take a 43-29 lead into halftime.

Turnovers were a huge factor, as Tech forced Texas into eight first-half turnovers, which they converted into 14 points.

Texas (16-6, 5-4) again battled in the second half to bring their deficit back to six points with just over eight minutes, but they would not get any closer. Obanor made two consecutive improbable three-pointers that first hit the rim but caromed in. Then, McCullar added two free throws, and in a blink of an eye, Texas Tech had reopened a double-digit lead that proved to be insurmountable.

Marcus Carr was the Longhorns leading scorer with 18 points, 13 of which came after halftime. Ramey was the second-leading scorer with 12 points, but all occurred within the first half.

This win moves the Red Raiders to 14-0 at home this season and into sole possession of third place within the Big 12 Conference. They undoubtedly have one of the best home-court advantages in all college basketball. They have won 17 consecutive games at home dating back to last season.