Connect with us

WVU Basketball

Shorthanded No. 14 West Virginia Gets Regular-Season Sweep of No. 7 Texas Tech



(photo via Texas Tech Athletics)

Taz Sherman was held out of the game with a groin injury, Miles “Deuce” McBride played just nine minutes in the first half, Derek Culver played eight in the second, and yet West Virginia outlasted Texas Tech, 82-71, Tuesday night in Lubbock.

No. 14 West Virginia (14-5, 7-3 Big 12) led No. 7 Texas Tech (14-6, 6-5) from the get-go, making each of the first five shots. The Mountaineers held a lead for over 34 minutes in the game and trailed for less than two minutes.

Sherman was announced as a game-time decision dealing with a groin injury that ultimately held him out of Tuesday’s action. Sherman, who is averaging 13.1 points per game, had started each of the last five games for the Mountaineers and was replaced in WVU’s lineup by junior Sean McNeil. Making his first start in over a month, McNeil powered WVU’s offense in the first half, leading all scorers with 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting with three 3-pointers.

McNeil’s first-half performance was made even more important when McBride, WVU’s leading scorer and the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, picked up a second personal foul and spent the final 11 minutes before halftime on the bench. Without Sherman and Culver, the Mountaineers rode McNeil and Culver, who was second on the team with 12 first-half points, to a 40-34 lead at halftime.

Texas Tech senior Mac McClung, the second-leading scorer in the conference, led the Red Raiders with 10 points in the first half but was held scoreless over the final nine and a half minutes being guarded by WVU wing Emmitt Matthews Jr.

With a six-point lead and getting McBride back on the floor, WVU seemed poised to build on its lead heading out of halftime. The Mountaineers’ lead hovered just under double-digits for the beginning of the half, but WVU got into trouble when Culver picked up three personal fouls in the first five minutes after halftime, giving him four. The junior forward spent the next 10 minutes on the bench, not checking back in until there were less than five minutes to play. In the meantime, the Red Raiders managed to shrink West Virginia’s lead down, even taking a 58-57 lead with 8:26 to play.

The Mountaineers maintained a slim lead down the stretch, making just enough of their free throws to hold off the Red Raiders. McClung, who scored 30 points in the first game against WVU this season, added seven more points in the second half, but picked up his fourth and fifth fouls within 20 seconds of one another with less than two minutes left and TTU only trailing by three.

Free throws grew WVU’s lead to seven with less than a minute to play and, for the second time this season, West Virginia upset a top-10 Texas Tech team, winning 82-71.

McNeil set a new career-high with 26 points. McBride scored 20 points, 18 of which coming in the second half, and Culver had 15 points and eight rebounds. McClung finished with 17 points and Terrence Shannon Jr. had 13.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard was given a technical foul and ejected with 23 seconds left to play.

Get WVSN in your mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe to WVSN and receive notifications of new posts by email.