26 forced turnovers helped give #17 West Virginia (18-3) their third straight win in a 77-58 victory over Texas Tech (11-11) on Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
The first half felt like West Virginia was in control the entire time, at one point building up a 30-14 lead, but Texas Tech wouldn't go away quite yet. A 17-7 Red Raider run, and 18 points from Robert Turner (who averages only 8.8 PPG), resulted in the Mountaineers leading only 37-31 going into the break.
With 5:41 to go in the first half, a hard (but clean) transition foul by Brandon Watkins on Robert Turner caused a lot of jawing between several Mountaineer and Red Raider players, with coach Bob Huggins and a couple Texas Tech assistants going onto the floor to make sure the situation didn't escalate.
While on the ground after committing the foul, Watkins gave a few Tech players a quick double bird, which (as you can imagine) wasn't received well. The refs didn't see this, and Norense Odiase received a technical foul and was ejected from the game.
The second half was all West Virginia. The Mountaineers held Texas Tech to 2 points in the first seven minutes to extend the lead to 53-33. West Virginia wouldn't let Tech get any closer than 15 the rest of the way and went on for the 19 point victory.
#PressVirginia was in full effect today. The Mountaineers forced 26 Red Raider turnovers and only committed 11.
Devin Williams led West Virginia with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Daxter Miles added 12 on 5-10 shooting. Juwan Staten scored 11 and had 5 assists. Gary Browne rounded out the double figure scorers with 10, all in the first half.
Texas Tech was led by Robert Turner. After having 18 in the first half, Turner was held scoreless in the second. None of the other Texas Tech starters scored more than 5 points. Aaron Ross added 13 and Isaiah Manderson scored 10 off the bench.
- No surprises in the starting lineup today: Staten, Browne, Miles, Holton, Williams.
- With the win today, West Virginia has already surpassed its win total for the entire 2014 season. The Mountaineers finished 17-16 a year ago.
- Announced attendance: 12,192
- You have to think Bob Huggins will consider a one-game suspension for Brandon Watkins after his friendly gesture today.
- Juwan Staten again struggled from the line, going 1-4.
- Several former WVU players were in attendance today:
Next up, the Mountaineers head to Norman for a February 3rd matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners. West Virginia dominated OU in their first matchup, an 86-65 victory in Morgantown. Oklahoma is 2-2 since that game, with victories over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech and losses to Kansas and Baylor. The game tips at 8:00 PM and will be televised by ESPN2 and on the WatchESPN app.