LEAD TT gamer
MetroNews staff photo

LUBBOCK, Texas —Eron Harris scored 18 points, all but three in the second half, helping West Virginia pull out a sorely needed 77-61 win at Texas Tech.

Harris and Gray Browne hit back-to-back 3s to spark a late 10-0 run after Texas Tech had drawn within 59-55. WVU finished 10-of-18 from 3-point range, a season-best 55 percent. The Mountaineers’ 56-percent overall shooting from the floor also was a season-high.

“We were knocking them down with confidence,” said Harris. “That could be the start of something big.”

Browne scored 11 points, going 3-of-3 from 3-point range after making only 7-of-44 (15 percent) all season.

“One thing they did, they made shots — and that’s something we didn’t anticipate, because it’s something they struggled with all year,” said Texas Tech coach Chris Walker.

WVU (10-11, 3-5 Big 12) got bench assistance from Aaric Murray, who added 12 points, and Terry Henderson, who scored nine — all on 3-pointers. Deniz Kilicli also had nine points, to go along with two rebounds and two blocked shots, but he went to the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 9:59 left.

Murray was whistled for his fourth foul with 6:59 to go.

Each team committed 23 fouls in a rugged game that also featured 40 turnovers. Texas Tech (9-10, 2-6) committed 22 of those turnovers, including four straight during a crucial stretch as WVU stretched the lead to 69-55.

“That’s been our Achilles’ heel all year, and it’s the Achilles’ heel of most young teams,” Walker said. “We’re trying to run plays to take advantage of their switching defense, and we throw the ball away. We call timeout and we throw the ball away again.”

Ty Nurse, making his first start this season for Texas Tech, finished with 14 points, including 6-of-6 from the line. But he couldn’t fathom how quickly the game turned down the stretch.

“When the game was over we were kind of shocked,” Nurse said. “We kind of let it slip, turned the ball over too much. During those times it’s crunch time, so every possession matters a lot.”

Red Raiders point guard Josh Gray and forward Jordan Tolbert chipped in 10 points each.

West Virginia, which bolted out to a 16-4 lead, shot 50 percent from the floor in the opening half, but committed 12 turnovers, as did Texas Tech. The Red Raiders shot 47 percent and trailed only 34-31 after Nurse hit a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds before the half.

The Mountaineers held a 24-22 edge in rebounding, getting four each from Harris, Kevin Noreen and Jabarie Hinds.

Next up for WVU is a Big Monday home date against Texas.

HUGGINS PASSES HASKINS

Saturday’s victory was No. 720 for Huggins, moving him past Don Haskins into 19th place on the NCAA’s career list. Next up is Ray Meyer at 724 victories.

RAINING 3s

As you’d expect, West Virginia’s perimeter shooting took Texas Tech by surprise.

“On the scouting report, we weren’t afraid of them hitting 3s,” said Red Raiders guard Ty Nurse. “Then they came out and hit a couple and so we had to change our defense a little bit. That’s what happens in basketball though, you have to adjust.”

The adjustments didn’t work, however. The Mountaineers were 6-of-12 from 3-point range at the half and 4-of-6 in the final 20 minutes.

Coincidentally, Harris missed all four of his first-half 3s before making 3-of-9 in the second half.

Forward Kevin Noreen was 1-of-2 from deep, the miss coming on a hurried launch off an inbounds pass after he mistakenly thought the shot-clock was about to expire. The shot-clock originally showed 2 seconds when the ball was knocked out of bounds, but the refs ruled a kick on a Texas Tech defender and reset the clock to 15 seconds.In Noreen’s defense, even his teammates were yelling for him to shoot.

 

bubble graphic

30

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Pghmountaineer

    Congrats to our guys on the win. I do have one question though. Why is that every game all of our bigs get in early foul trouble? They do commit their share of silly fouls and they don't seem to be able to correct it. That's frustrating. It continues to haunt them and that will be a big issue in a close game with a few minutes left.

  • Misterman

    Good job Mountaineers and Coach Huggins. I'm happy Huggs is our coach, and I hope he will be here for a long time.

  • big tom

    i do think the two freshmen have lots of potential. we just need to get players who are more athletic and have some kind of bb IQ.
    if hinds, browne and brown and miles havent' picked it up by now, they just won't.
    kilicili was a lost cause from the beginning, he is a cancer on this team, and needs to be benched. he's lazy and he's passing it on to other players, he just has no hustle and by starting him, it's sendin ga message to the other players, a bad message.

    • Habib Haddad

      Did we watch the same game yesterday, big tom? Kilcili hustled and made plays all over the court. He drew fouls and generally, save the fouls he committed himself, acquitted himself pretty well. He will never be anymore than the house guitarist at Schmidt's Tavern and that is OK with me.

      • Alum

        Oh come on, give tommy a break. After all, it's very hard to see clearly from mommy's basement.

  • mark

    Hey, let's be proud of OUR guys. Regardless of how this season has gone, they are still our state's team and deserve our support. Harris and Henderson are going to be outstanding players. They just need a little help for us to be pretty good the next 3 years.

  • J!

    I'm sorry Larry, I forgot that Truck Bryant, Kevin Jones, and Devin Ebanks (3 starters from the final four run) were recruited by Belien...oh wait...they weren't! Get off the WVU message boards if your spec against Hugs. Your ridiculous

  • big tom

    huggie does dwell on the past, i get a little tired of hearing about the good ole days at cinn.,,, wonder why he left?
    i do hope we upgrade our recruiting and get some big time players that can shoot the ball. i like the ole beilein style, when we won, and beat teams we shouldn't have. we don't see that anymore, seems it's the other way around, ex. davidson, duq. and struggle to beat no bodies...
    i really like this coach at butler, wonder what it would take to get him??/
    wonder what it would take to get huggie to retire??? , this season is really over bobby, no ncaa, and no nit;

    • Alum

      tommy, tommy, tommy - ever the positive one aren't you.

      wonder what it would take to get tommy to retire from posting???

  • Hoffy

    Good confidence-building win going into Monday's game against a beatable Texas squad. Honestly, I was surprised at how well WVU shot the ball. Very encouraging!
    Happy Groundhog Day!

  • Larry

    I want to apologize to everyone for being so negative. Forgive me…You are so correct. I do need to focus more on the positives…

    I do see one very distinct positive that has come out of this season…We have heard less this season from Bob Huggins about his former player “Kenyon Martin”. Huggins still talks about him, just not as much…and that is a positive.

    • shawn

      A positive would be that you would zip your face.

      • Wemakerain

        @Shawn every thing you say makes me laugh, I greatly appreciate your sense of humor so thank you

  • Habib Haddad

    It is my hope that this game serve as the wake up call for a talented but under performing Mountaineer basketball team. Certainly has been a tough first year in the conference but that is no reason to give up on our guys and gals. We need to make a run while we have the bottom dwellers in the next few games. If Harris stays hot, watch out. The good defense was the most impressive thing today. And, as Huggs says, defensive effort makes you a better player on the offensive side.

  • Alum

    larry, tommy, billy - can always count on them to criticize no matter what.

    Good job Eers on the win!

    LET'S GOOOOOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS!

  • Matt

    Agreed rain well spoke, he Larry go away hater, what a disgrace you are

  • Powderhorn

    Nice to get a road win. Refs let them play. Looked more like a BE game than some of these touchy-feely B12 games.

  • Wemakerain

    It wasn't the prettiest I will agee. Sometimes it's better to have a scrappy team that finds success thru a year or two of adversity, than to have a well oiled machine that falls apart at the first sign of trouble. I personally enjoy watching this team, I have seen them grow and mature over the last few games. I think they are heading in the right direction, but we won't see the fruit until next season. Still great effort from the whole team today.

    • Larry

      It is such a shame that we have to wait until “next year” in order for this team to mature and get better.

      People said the exact same thing this time last year. Next year at this same time, you will hear fans say…

      “I really saw the team play hard…I see much improvement…’next year’ they ought to be really good…I definitely enjoy watching this team play…we have such a great coach…”

      This has gone on since the final four appearance with the John Beilein players. It’s a perpetual endless and vicious cycle of waiting until “next year”. And it will continue until the end of the Bob Huggins era.

      Well, I think you see where I’m driving this tour bus…

      • Wemakerain

        I think with the huge turnover we had before last season it was too much change that bubbled over to this year after losing KJ's leadership. Next year you have a couple juniors, a few sophomores, with the freshman sprinkled in. Makes for a lot better chemistry when you aren't competing to get a spot, but instead working to get better. That's just how I see it atleast

      • shawn

        Reading your comments makes me want to puke.

      • Nate

        Actually Larry this time last year after 21 games we were 15-6 so I doubt we were saying "wait until next year", we were probably starting to think about what seed we may be looking at come tournament time. Maybe try doing a little research before popping comments that make no sense.

  • J!

    Wow Larry...a "real" Mountaineer will always pay to watch their team. While this hasn't been the best year, shame on you for giving up on our team so easily. If your just a spectator then be a bandwagon fan and go watch Kentucky. Lets Gooooo Mountaineers!!!!

  • Tim C

    Goodbye Larry. They are making mistakes but they are playing hard.