Second half dooms WVU in first loss since November

Texas Tech's Niem Stevenson shoots the ball around West Virginia's Jevon Carter during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday Jan. 13 2018 in Lubbock Texas

Second half dooms WVU in first loss since November

The Mountaineers hadn't lost a game since their season-opener on November 10, 2017.

The Red Raiders will savor this moment, even if the rough-and-tumble Big 12 season is just getting started. Texas Tech knocked off the Mountaineers, 72-71, in Lubbock on Saturday afternoon in a physical game that epitomizes how tough the Big 12 is this season. The game will be televised on ESPN with Mark Neely and Robbie Hummel providing the play-by-play.

Texas Tech's Niem Stevenson (10) pushes away West Virginia's Daxter Miles (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Lubbock, Texas. Vick averaged 15 points per game but just ten in Big 12 play. The game went back and forth for about the next 5 1/2 minutes until West Virginia made another run to end the half. That could be limited against West Virginia, though, as forward Zach Smith missed Tuesday's game with a left ankle sprain and forward Justin Gray was limited with tightness in his knee.

"It's not even close", he said.

"We have guys with inflated self-worth", Huggins said after the 72-71 setback.

"For not playing for 16 games, I thought he came out and played pretty well", Huggins said. He's practiced with us, but he really hasn't practiced with the guys who played the most; he's played against those guys.

While the Oklahoma win is obviously better, the Baylor win showed me more about this team.

West Virginia built its lead to 47-36 with less than 13 minutes remaining, but a 9-2 run from Texas Tech that was capped off by a three-pointer from Brandone Francis had the Red Raiders within one point of the Mountaineers. You work like insane to get to thepoint where everybody is excited about playing you.

"I know were going to be a frog again at some point. They are 24-of-28 and we are 14-for-19".

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That's certainly not the case today. The reigning Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year is also shooting 40 percent from the 3-point line. "They (Texas Tech) are for real".

West Virginia led virtually the whole game, and was up 18 early in the second half. That opened the door for Texas Tech to eventually win the game in overtime on Anthony Livingston's 3 with six seconds left.

After possibly the best start to a college career in the past 15 years, Young is just 15-of-45 from the floor in his past two games. He ended the contest with 28 points on 10-of-22 shooting, marking his highest scoring total since a November win over Missouri, adding three rebounds, two assists and three steals.

The #2 Mountaineers can possibly get to #1 with two wins here.

Zhaire Smith earned his first start as he replaced senior forward Zach Smith in the starting lineup. The Red Raiders have held opponents to 60.2 points per game, ranking fifth nationally.

"Freshman guard Jarrett Culver (6'5" 190-lbs) will provide an offensive spark off the bench, averaging 10.3 points per game and 3.7 rebounds. They combine to average 12 points as a duo.

If there's concern furrowing Huggins' brow, it could be that his team might not get a victory the next time it is held to less than a point per possession. No KU player would ever - or should ever - look past a game against the in-state rival, and Self will make sure of that.

Arizona 90, OR 83: Allonzo Trier scored 25 points, Deandre Ayton added 24 and No. 17 Arizona used a late run to outlast Oregon. "That's the most impressive thing". That means a reasonable schedule awaits Scott Drew's team, including games against Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Kansas State surrounding a trip to face KU at Allen Fieldhouse. They can both shoot it. They're good. Real good.

Let's go out on a limb and say Kansas wins on Saturday. "It's a hard league". "There are not going to be very many routs, if any, in this league".

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