Since February 2, the West Virginia University Basketball Team has traveled to the state of Texas on three separate occasions. They defeated Texas Tech and TCU in the first two contests in the Lone Star State, but finally fell to Baylor in their latest game.
Saturday, they have a rematch with Texas Tech (9-13, 2-9) in Morgantown. In the first meeting, the Mountaineers (12-12, 5-6) led almost the entire game and pulled away at the end to beat the Red Raiders, 77-61. Eron Harris led WVU with 18 points, followed by Aaric Murray's 12.
For Texas Tech, they have lost nine of their last 10 games with their only victory coming against Iowa State on January 23. The only team behind them in the Big 12 standings is TCU. They are averaging 66.0 points and 34.0 total rebounds per game. The Red Raiders have been a good offensive rebounding squad, pulling down 12.4 per game (79th nationally).
The Red Raiders are led by junior forward Jaye Crockett in both points (11.9) and rebounds (6.9). He is the only player in the team averaging double-digits in points. Jordan Tolbert, Dejan Kravic and Josh Gray are each averaging just over 9.0 points a contest.
For West Virginia, their physical game has not translated well to the Big 12 to this point in the season. The fouls have been adding up early on for many of the WVU bigs, causing depth problems in the second half. This team needs to figure out how to play tough without getting called for fouls and how the officials are going to call each game. It has become obvious that the Big 12's style of basketball is different from the Big East's.
The Mountaineers still do not have a player averaging double-digits in points. Their leading scorer is Aaric Murray with 9.3 and he is also the leading rebounder with 6.4 per game. The two freshmen, Eron Harris and Terry Henderson, are becoming the go-to guys offensively for the Mountaineers with their ability to shoot from beyond the arc.
This will be the third all-time meeting between these two schools. The first was in the Sweet 16 round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament where West Virginia advanced to the Elite 8 after defeating Bob Knight and the Red Raiders. The second meeting was the game two weeks ago so currently, the Mountaineers hold a 2-0 advantage over Texas Tech.
The game is this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET and will be aired on the Big 12 Network as well as ESPN3.