Down one with 16 seconds left to play West Virginia was always going to put the ball in the hands of sophomore point guard Miles “Deuce” McBride.
McBride’s final bucket of the night, over a pair of Texas Tech defenders with two seconds to go, gave the No. 11 Mountaineers a slim, 88-87 victory over the visiting No. 10 Red Raiders (11-5, 4-4).
The Mountaineers looked to have control of the game in the first half, building up a lead as large as 10 points mid-way through. TTU (11-5, 4-4 Big 12) was able to fight back, however, finishing the half on a 13 to 3 run that tied the game at 39 heading into halftime. The Mountaineers were held scoreless over the final three minutes of the first half.
The teams would trade the lead back and forth to begin the second half, but Texas Tech’s superior ball security eventually allowed the Red Raiders to build up a lead of their own. TTU went on a 17 to 4 run midway through the second half that put them up 12, the largest lead by either team on the night.
Tech’s lead hovered around double digits for several minutes until West Virginia pieced together a 21 to 9 run over five minutes to eventually tie the game at 84 with 1:36 left to play on a 3-pointer by McBride. Texas Tech’s Mac McClung, the leading scorer in the Big 12, immediately hit his own 3-pointer on the other end of the court to give TTU back the lead.
With is a one-point game with one minute left to play, WVU forced the ball out of McClung’s hands, leading to a missed shot. WVU coach Bob Huggins then called a timeout with 16.2 seconds to play down one, 87-86.
On the final possession of the game, McBride took the ball the entire way, scoring a layup over a pair of TTU defenders with two seconds left to give WVU the 88-87 victory.
McClung led the charge for the Red Raiders, scoring a game-high 30 points on 11 of 21 shooting. After scoring just six points in the first half, McClung scored 24 in the second half for the Red Raiders. Terrence Shannon Jr. added in 15 points.
For West Virginia, McBride led the team with 24 points and Jalen Bridges and Sean McNeil were tied with 13 for second. Tax Sherman and Jordan McCabe all chipped in 10 each. After a down outing Saturday, Culver rebounded to score 10 points with nine rebounds.
The Mountaineers will stay home and host Florida in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday.