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No Taz Sherman, More Problems for West Virginia in 60-53 Loss to No. 14 Texas Tech



Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – West Virginia drops their seventh-straight game, losing 60-53, as No. 14 Texas Tech holds WVU to a terrible shooting performance in the second half.

West Virginia (13-9, 2-7 Big 12) shot 4-of-32 (12.5 percent) from the field in the second half against Texas Tech (18-5, 7-3 Big 12).

The Mountaineers were without leading-scorer Sherman who was ruled out with a concussion; and it showed. Sherman entered concussion protocol earlier in the week after taking a hit to the head in the Baylor game on Monday night. WVU head coach Bob Huggins announced on Friday that Sherman had not practiced all week. WVU forward Pauly Paulicap replaced Sherman in the starting lineup, playing 27 minutes and finishing with four points and nine rebounds.

Without Sherman, West Virginia needed someone to step up and give the team some offensive production. Once again when needed, it was Jalen Bridges. In the first half, the Fairmont native was knocking down shots left and right, with the offense running through Bridges. The 6-foot-7 forward looked like was going to have a career night, as he went into the locker room with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Bridges was quiet in the second half, only taking three shots and not scoring.

Gabe Osabuohien missed three-straight free-throws, got his own rebound and kicked it out to Sean McNeil for an open three to tie the game at 39 in the second half. If there’s any play to summarize West Virginia’s season, it’s this play. Osabuohien gave it his all once again, finishing with eight points and 13 rebounds.

As McNeil drove to the paint with five minutes left, TTU’s Marcus Santos-Silva grabbed the net as McNeil was fouled. There was no goaltending call, leading the West Virginia fans to get even more loud than they were previously.

In the first few minutes of the game, TTU’s Terrence Shannon Jr. went down after slamming in a dunk, landing on his right leg awkwardly. Shannon was in visible pain and was taken out of the game. It didn’t appear as if Shannon would return, but the junior guard came back in the second half. Shannon recorded nine points in 15 minutes.

In the second half, Huggins threw in freshman James Okonkwo. Before Saturday, Okonkwo only played two games in his first season (Radford, Kent State), making Texas Tech his Big 12 debut. Against the Red Raiders, the England native recorded four minutes in the game.

Notable scorers for West Virginia were Bridges (16), McNeil (15) and Osabuohien (8).

West Virginia will move to focus on Iowa State, when they host the Cyclones on Tuesday night. The first matchup between WVU and ISU will take place inside the WVU Coliseum at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

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