No. 14 West Virginia upends Texas Tech 78-67
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) West Virginia’s full-court press against Texas Tech wasn’t as effective as Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins would have liked.
The usually bounce in his players’ steps was missing, but it was enough for No. 14 West Virginia to beat Texas Tech 78-67 on Monday night.
”I thought our rotations weren’t very good,” he said ”Tubby can coach a little bit – they did a good job of filling lanes and circling people. I think what hurt us the most was our ball pressure wasn’t near what it has been.”
Juwan Staten scored 16 points and Devin Williams added 14 to lead the Mountaineers. Staten scored all but three of his points in the second half.
Huggins said Staten’s flu-like illness is still with him; he was throwing up after the game.
”He wasn’t Juwan tonight,” Huggins said. ”He’s an 80-something percent free throw shooter, and he goes 3 for 8. I thought early he forced things, but then I thought he settled down in the second and played better and did the things that he’s really good at doing.”
The Mountaineers dominated inside, getting 36 points in the paint to 18 for the Red Raiders.
West Virginia’s full-court pressure caused fits for Texas Tech, which made it difficult for the Red Raiders to set up their half-court offense. The Mountaineers (14-1, 2-0 Big 12) created 22 turnovers and got 16 points off of them.
Still, Huggins said his players weren’t themselves against the Red Raiders.
”When we play out of a context, out of what we are, it’s crazy,” he said. ”Do what you do, don’t try to be somebody you’re not. Everybody wants to be somebody they’re not.”
The Red Raiders made just 19 baskets, 10 of those coming in the second half.
Devaugntah Williams scored 21 points to lead the Red Raiders (10-5, 0-2 Big 12). It was Texas Tech’s fourth loss in five games and its second straight.
The Mountaineers struggled at times, but built a 15-point lead in the second half. They got double-digit contributions from five players.
West Virginia came into the game leading the nation in turnovers, averaging 13.3 steals a game. The Mountaineers fell short of that, getting just nine.
Of the field goals the Red Raiders got, seven of them were 3-pointers, and they missed 15 free throws.
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said his players need to recognize that mistakes mount up.
”It takes a while at this level to understand one false step, one false move, it’s going to cost you,” he said ”Good teams and good players are going to take advantage of you. It happened to us consistently” tonight.
West Virginia led 32-29 at halftime. The Mountaineers were up 23-13 points before the Red Raiders put together a 12-2 that included two free throws and two 3-pointers by Toddrick Gotcher to tie it at 25.
Smith and Huggins have combined to win 1,289 games, with Smith winning 535 and Huggins winning 754. Huggins leads 3-2 in their head-to-head meetings.
Jevon Carter’s back-to-back field goals capped a 7-0 run over just more than a minute, which stretched the Mountaineers’ lead to 53-40 midway through the second half. Staten hit his first three field goals to start the second half.
West Virginia: Staten was back after a game away. He missed the game at TCU with the flu.
Texas Tech: Alex Foster, who comes off the bench for the Red Raiders, wasn’t suited up Monday night. Texas Tech basketball spokesman declined to say why.
West Virginia plays host to No. 17 Iowa State on Saturday.
Texas Tech travels to No. 12 Kansas on Saturday.