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Texas Tech Pulls Away from WVU Late, 78-65, Despite Taz Sherman’s Resurgence



Photo: Julia Mellett / WVSN

After West Virginia Men’s Basketball hung around with Texas Tech for the majority of the game, the Red Raiders pulled away in the final five minutes, winning 78-65.

Texas Tech’s (15-4, 5-2 Big 12) Terrence Shannon hit back-to-back three-pointers with three minutes to go, to extend the TTU lead to nine. Shannon led the Red Raiders in scoring with 23 points.

With the loss, West Virginia (13-5, 2-4 Big 12) loses its third-straight game for the first time since the 2019-20 season. You could feel the frustration setting in with this team, as they tried to get back into the game. Jalen Bridges told the whole story of the team’s frustration as he ripped the top of his jersey, hitting his chair, when he fouled out.

Despite the loss, WVU guard Taz Sherman found his stride once again. The fifth-year senior hit contested shots throughout the game; Sherman’s shots alone cut the deficit to three points. Like old times’ sake, Sherman was the only player on West Virginia who could consistently create his own shot and score. Sherman finished Saturday’s game with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting.

Sherman, for the past two weeks, has been trying to find his old self. Sherman missed the New Year’s Day game due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. He returned the next week against Kansas State and has played ever since. WVU head coach Bob Huggins has said over the last week that Sherman is suffering from the after-effects and isn’t himself, stating that he has also lost weight and is trying to gain it back. 100 percent, or not, Sherman looked great on Saturday.

Off the bench, Malik Curry and Pauly Paulicap gave the Mountaineers production throughout the game. In the last two games, Curry has lead the team in scoring. Not quite the same production from the Delaware native, but still what was needed from Curry. He finished with 11 points. Paulicap, as of late, has been struggling to consistently stay on the floor. When Isaiah Cottrell and Gabe Osabuohien were in foul trouble, Paulicap came in for 17 minutes until he fouled out with six minutes left. WVU’s bench scored 23 points.

Down three with 9:49 left in the game, forward Isaiah Cottrell missed a relatively open layup. Cottrell wasn’t the only one to miss a layup for the Mountaineers, as this has been a team struggle all season. The Mountaineers shot 7-of-14 on layups in Lubbock.

Texas Tech had more opportunities to score after West Virginia turned the ball over 17 times.

The pace of the first half was ruined by the foul calling by the officiation crew. Twenty-three combined fouls between West Virginia and Texas Tech resulted in a slow-paced first half with a lot of stoppages. Paulicap, Curry, Jalen Bridges, and Osabuohien ended up fouling out for West Virginia.

Notable scorers for WVU were Sherman (21), Curry (11), and Bridges (8).

Next up for the Mountaineers is a date with Oklahoma, in Morgantown, next Wednesday night. WVU and OU are set to tipoff at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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