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Texas Tech Ends West Virginia’s Winning Streak In A Nail-Biter


NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

All good things must come to an end, unfortunately, and that applied to the West Virginia Mountaineers’ 15-game win streak. The No. 2 ranked Mountaineers fell to the No. 8 Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock, 72-71.

Daxter Miles hit a three to score the game’s first points at the 18:20 mark. Texas Tech would answer back, and the two teams began to trade blows. Esa Ahmad and Jevon Carter hit back-to-back threes to help put West Virginia up 13-6 at the under 16:00 media timeout, but the bigger storyline, perhaps, was that the Mountaineers had already been whistled for four fouls in the first four minutes.

Texas Tech fought back, closing in on the lead midway through the first half. The Red Raiders would completely erase what was once a 9-point Mountaineer lead at the 8:00 media timeout, thanks to a 7-0 run.

West Virginia took the lead back from the Red Raiders with a Ahmad drive to the basket, followed by a deep three by Carter. Tech would keep it close, though, with a three of their own to put the score at 26-25 with less than 4:00 remaining in the half.

Carter caught fire in the closing minutes and hit two of his four first-half threes within a minute of each other to put West Virginia up 34-29 with 1:30 left. The Mountaineers would go on to take a 38-31 lead into the locker room.

Carter had 15 points in the first half. 14 of Texas Tech’s 31 points were scored from the free throw line.

West Virginia stayed on top of the Red Raiders through the first 5:00 of the second half, but the fouls kept piling up on the Mountaineers. Miles, West, James Bolden and Harris all had three fouls with 15:00 remaining.

Coming out of the 12:00 media timeout, the Red Raiders quickly began to erase West Virginia’s lead, once again. A deep three from Davide Moretti and a huge dunk of a fast break by Jarrett Culver closed the lead to 2 points, and all the momentum was on Texas Tech’s side.

West Virginia managed to snap an almost 7:00 scoring drought with a Wesley Harris three to keep the Mountaineers on top by four points at the under 8:00 timeout.

Tech’s Keenan Evans nailed a deep 2 with 6:30 remaining to close WVU’s lead to 1, and a travel by Carter on the other end gave the Red Raiders the ball right back and allowed them to take the lead again. Carter would hit a two of his own to put WVU back on top, but picked up his fourth foul on the ensuing inbounds pass. [] hit both free throws to put Tech back up by 1, and Carter was forced to take the bench.

Tech would extend their lead to 3, their largest of the game, but left Harris wide open on the wing on the other end, letting him tie the game up. The two teams traded threes to tie the game at 65-65 with 2:00 remaining.

With Texas Tech up 68-66 with less than a minute remaining, Lamont West heaved up a three that was just off the mark, and Tech’s Kennan Evans struck again with a deep 2 to put the Red Raiders up by 4 points. Jevon Carter tried to take it coast to coast, but missed on the layup, and a foul by Konate let Tech extend their lead to 71-66 with 29 seconds remaining.

West Virginia got the ball back with 5.8 seconds left on the clock, down 72-68, after a turnover on a Texas Tech inbounds pass. Jevon Carter drove down the court and made a deep three with 0.8 seconds left on the clock. Tech got the ball inbounds, and the clock expired before the Mountaineers could foul.

Jevon Carter led the Mountaineers with 28 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. Esa Ahmad finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds off the bench in his first game back from suspension. Konate had 7 points and 11 rebounds, while Wesley Harris added 8 points to West Virginia’s total.

West Virginia returns to action on Monday, when they take on the Kansas Jayhawks in Morgantown. That game will tip off at 9:00PM ET and will be televised on ESPN.