West Virginia was able to snap their three game losing skid against Texas Tech Wednesday Night at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers downed the Red Raiders 87-81.
Eron Harris and Terry Henderson got the night started for the Mountaineers. Harris and Henderson both drilled three-pointers on the Mountaineers' first two possessions of the game. WVU snagged the early 6-0 lead with 18:05 left in the first half.
The Red Raiders began to amount some offense with 16:05 to play in the first half as Jordan Tolbert hit a three while Toddrick Gotcher knocked down a short-range jumper. Harris would answer though; Harris drained another three to bring West Virginia's lead to 11-6.
Henderson too would hit another from behind the arc. Early lights-out shooting for the Mountaineers gave them a 17-6 lead with 14:18 remaining the first half.
The Mountaineers' defense also played a big role early on in the first. A couple big-time blocks led to Nathan Adrian getting in on the three-spree. Adrian buried a three to give the Mountaineers a 10-point lead, 20-10 with 12:14 reaming in the first half.
"We played Nate and Nate made some, Nate hadn't made any," said head coach Bob Huggins. "When you can play Nate at four, which we did, they have to guard him. It spreads things out."
Texas Tech would respond with a pair of three from Dusty Hannahs and Gotcher. The two three-pointers would cut West Virginia's lead down to just four. The Mountaineers led 20-16 with 10:53 to play in the first half.
Hannahs led the Red Raiders by scoring 25 on the night. Crockett dropped 16 while Gotcher added 15.
"We just got to be ready to guard every person like they're dangerous," Staten said in regards to Hannahs' performance. "We need to really take that personal and step-up and start playing a great deal of defense on players that can make shots."
After another three by Hannahs, the Red Raiders went on a 20-3 run. Texas Tech took the lead, 26-20 with 7:55 left to play in the first half.
The Mountaineers kept things close late in the first half. Jumpers from Henderson and Devin Williams narrowed the deficit. Texas Tech led West Virginia 28-26 with 5:30 remaining in the first.
Gary Brown knotted the game up after nifty move in the lane for the lay in. The score remained even at 32 with 2:51 left to play before halftime.
West Virginia regained the lead just before the half. Adrian hit another three pointer while Brandon Watkins hit a pair from the free throw line. West Virginia went into the locker room with a 40-39 lead.
Staten and Henderson both found layups to start the second half. The Mountaineers' two quick buckets gave them a 44-39 advantage early in the second half.
Henderson then knocked down two three's to extend West Virginia's lead. A pair of foul shots from the Red Raiders' Jaye Crockett put the score at 50-43 in favor of the Mountaineers with 16:45 remaining.
Henderson finished the night as the Mountaineers' leading scorer with 28. Juwan Staten added 16 while Harris chipped in with 15.
"Coming off last game at Kansas State I didn't play too well," said Henderson. "I just knew I had to bounce back and play harder than I did, come out in attack mode."
"Terry's a great kid," said Huggins. "Terry wants to do right. Terry wants to do right by the team."
West Virginia added to their lead after Staten completed an old fashion three-point-play while Harris' pump fakes led to a short layup. West Virginia led 59-51 with 13:15 left to play.
The Mountaineers shot 29-54 (54 percent) from the field, 11-20 (55 percent) from behind the arc and 18-21 (86 percent) from the free throw line.
Hannahs kept the Red Raiders alive, midway through the second. Hannahs made another three-pointer, this time over two West Virginia defenders. The Red Raiders would trail the Mountaineers 61-57 with 11:33 left in the game.
Texas Tech went 24-49 (49 percent) from the field, 12-19 (63 percent) from three-point land and 21-26 (81 percent) from the foul line.
Thanks in large part to Henderson; the Mountaineers would go on a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 67-60 with 9:45 left to play.
Harris found the basket on a drive through the lane while Adrian knocked down a three from the corner. West Virginia's lead would grow to 80-67 with 4:30 left in the game.
The Red Raiders would make it interesting down the stretch, with just under a minute remaining Hannahs would again hit another three to keep the Red Raiders' hopes alive. But West Virginia took the intentional fouls, knocked down their free throws and secured the game.
"Our spirit, our attitude, our energy, our X's and O's, our defense, everything was better today," said Harris.
The Mountaineers outlasted the Red Raiders 87-81, earning their third Big 12 conference win of the season.