BOSTON -- The dream will continue.

Thanks to double-digit scoring efforts from Zhaire Smith, Keenan Evans, Zach Smith and Justin Gray, who combined for 55 points, the No. 14 Texas Tech men's basketball team has added a page to the program's history books by defeating No. 11 Purdue 78-65 in the East Region semifinal game Friday inside TD Garden.

"Just thinking about freshman year and being last in the Big 12 and getting beat by 30, 40, 50 points, it's amazing," Gray said of the ascension of Texas Tech basketball. "We put so much work in, so much time in. Just glad to see that all of it is paying off. Couldn't be any happier to do it with my brothers."

 

With the win, the Red Raiders (27-9) have reached the Elite Eight for the first time and are set to take on top-seeded Villanova in the regional final Sunday with a time to be determined.

"Winning never gets old. So it's just amazing," said Evans, who finished with a team-high 16 points, including 12 in the second half. "It feels, like I said, amazing to share this moment with these guys and this coaching staff. We don't want it to end. We feel like we have more work to do, and we're going to do that work."

If it is looking to advance to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas Tech must duplicate the same effort it put forth against the Boilermakers (30-7).

Texas Tech, which led by five points coming out of the locker room thanks to a 10-0 run to close out the final 3:43 of the first half, added to its lead and built it up to 37-31 by the 16:49 mark of the second half.

From that point on, the Red Raiders continued to apply pressure on offense and defense -- getting second-half, double-digit efforts from Zhaire Smith (13 points), Evans (12) and Zach Smith (10) -- before closing out a milestone win for the program.

"We just had to be disciplined and not foul while being aggressive on defense," said senior Niem Stevenson, who finished with nine points and four rebounds. "We needed to play aggressive on defense and get that upper hand."

Sophomore guard Carsen Edwards scored 30 for Purdue, but Tech dealt the second-seeded Boilermakers their worst loss of the season.

"They just swarm the basketball," Purdue head coach Matt Painter said of Texas Tech's defense. "They make it hard on you to get the ball in the paint. Carsen did a good job of breaking them down and getting in the paint, and it wasn't that we weren't at other times. We just couldn't finish some plays. We had a couple good looks, and then we just tried to be on the same page, just pass it and catch it."

After both teams came out making shots, the Red Raiders and Boilermakers offenses came to a screeching halt.

Freshman Davide Moretti drained a 3-point goal from the right side, which capped a 7-0 run over the last two minutes, to knot the game up at 15-15 with 11:17 left in the first half.

It took about five minutes before Purdue's P.J. Thompson broke the tie by draining a 3 at the 5:59 mark. The Boilermakers increased their lead to five points twice with Thompson putting things at 25-20 thanks to his second and final trey of the first half.

The Red Raiders turned things around by ramping up their intensity and aggressiveness on both ends of the floor.

Texas Tech senior Niem Stevenson, who drew a foul on Purdue's Carson Edwards, made a pair of free throws to spark a late, double-digit run.

Justin Gray, another senior, followed it up by netting a pair of shots, the second of which gave the Red Raiders their first lead at 26-25 with a little over two minutes to play before halftime.

"It was huge man, every time he came out aggressive and made shots, we pulled it out," Texas Tech senior Tommy Hamilton IV said of Gray's offensive effort in the first half. "We just fed off of him as a team."

A Zach Smith tip-in and Evans layup put the bow on a 10-0 run that provided Tech with a 30-25 advantage as the teams went into their respective locker rooms.

"Once we up with that 10-0 run, we wanted to keep on adding to that lead," Gray said. "We knew Purdue was a talented team, so we didn't want to relax at all. So we wanted to continue to be aggressive, keep pushing, create turnovers and play Texas Tech basketball. I felt like everyone had that mindset and we never looked back."