West Virginia Moves Past Texas Tech
Lubbock, TX – The West Virginia Mountaineers (12-8, 2-7) claimed their first conference road win in nearly two years after defeating the Texas Tech Raiders (10-10, 0-8) 76-61 Wednesday night. WVU guard Joe Toussaint led all scorers with 22 points.
After starting the game 1-7 from the floor, committing five turnovers and trailing 10-2 at the first media timeout, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins removed all his starters from the floor, and guard Seth Wilson buried a three close the gap 10-5 at the 14: 29 mark of the first half.
Point guard Joe Toussaint hit a deep three as the shot clock was winding down, then Wilson banked in his second three of the half, cutting the deficit to three, 18-15 with nine minutes remaining in the half.
Texas Tech guard Kerwin Walton fouled WVU guard Erik Stevenson on a reach, and reacted by slamming the ball on the floor and was assessed a technical foul. Stevenson hit the pair of technicals and both free throws on the bonus to give the Mountaineers their first lead of the game 22-21 with 4: 26 to play in the half.
West Virginia claimed a five-point advantage after Stevenson drove to the basket and kicked it to forward Tre Mitchell on the left corner for a three as the Mountaineers took a 33-28 lead into halftime.
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The second half began with a flurry of whistles and Texas Tech head coach Mark Adams had seen enough, running out to midcourt in protest and picked up a technical foul in the process. Stevenson again was on the receiving end of four consecutive free throws to push the Mountaineers lead to seven, 38-31.
A 6-0 spurt got the Red Raider back within one, but Wilson banked in a straightaway three to give West Virginia put the Mountaineers back up four. 41-37, at the 14: 07 mark of the first half.
An offensive rebound by Wilson and a dish to forward James Okonkwo led to a bucket and a foul, with Okonkwo completing the three-point play and the Mountaineers led by eight with just under nine minutes to play.
West Virginia forward Mohamed Wague delivered a two-handed slap to extend the Mountaineers lead to 10. Then, after Tech went 1-2 from the free throw line, Joe Toussaint hit a contested runner and WVU held a 65-44 advantage with four minutes remaining in the game.
Coming into the game, the Mountaineers were shooting a Big 12 worst 64.2% from the free line during league play but 80% on the night including 7-8 down the stretch as West Virginia pulls away with a win 76-61.
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.