LUBBOCK, Texas — Juwan Staten’s stat line against Texas Tech looked monstrous: 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting with five assists.
But his technical foul after making a layup with 4:06 left in regulation could have sabotaged the whole performance.
When West Virginia finally prevailed 89-86 in overtime—largely on the strength of Staten’s big night—the point guard professed relief that his mistake didn’t cost his team the game.
“I actually thought I got fouled (on the drive), but I didn’t say anything,” Staten said. “I turned around and looked just to see who it was I thought fouled me. I just looked at him, and (the officials) thought it was a tech, so it was a tech.
A technical that led to four points for the Red Raiders—two free throws by Dusty Hannahs and a jumper by Jaye Crockett on the plus-possession. That tied the game at 68-all, the first time Texas Tech hadn’t trailed since the 16-minute mark of the first half.
Though West Virginia coach Bob Huggins barked at officials for several possessions about the technical, he exercised diplomacy after the game and said he didn’t see what Staten did.
Staten sensed his coach might have seen plenty.
“I look over at Coach Huggs and he’s just giving me that look, so I definitely needed to do something to quiet their run,” Staten said. “I knew I needed to make plays because that could be a play that could come back to hurt us.”
After Texas Tech took a 71-68 lead, Staten’s jumper stopped the run. And when WVU trailed 77-74 exiting a timeout in the final 27 seconds, Staten found Terry Henderson flaring off a screen for the tying 3-pointer.
During overtime, the guard scored a team-high four points, including two free throws with 36 seconds left that gave WVU a two-possession lead.