West Virginia’s first meeting with the Texas Tech Red Raiders was a back-and-forth affair that ended in one of the most memorable moments of this COVID-ridden season. West Virginia overcame a half-time deficit which was capped by a Miles McBride jumper to give the Mountaineers in the waining seconds.
The meeting in Lubbock on Tuesday night would be entertaining and closer than the final score would lead the casual observer to believe.
West Virginia came out hot, going up 13-5 and forcing a Red Raider timeout. The Mountaineers would lead by eight twice in the first half before Texas Tech would chisel it down to force a lead change, before relinquishing to the Mountaineers who would lead at half time, 40-34.
In the second half the Chris Beard’s team would not go away, tying the game at 60-60 with 7:48 to go. Jalen Bridges, from Fairmont, answered with a three to retake the lead for WVU and the Mountaineers would never trail.
Final score West Virginia 82, Texas Tech 71.
There were several keys to the game, not the least of which was the hot shooting of Sean McNeil. McNeil started the game as the catalyst for West Virginia going 6-7 from the floor, for 15 of his game high 27 points.
West Virginia also found themselves in key foul trouble most of the night. In the first half, it was Mile McBride who played only nine minutes. Derek Culver spent most of the second with four fouls. Despite the foul trouble, McBride finished with 20 points, four assists and three rebounds. Culver ended the game with 15 points and eight rebounds.
The strangest moment of the night may have been Chris Beard getting ejected from the game after aggressively yelling at the refs and then flopping on the floor, presumably indicating a flop of some sort. He then redeemed himself in the madness by yelling at the refs all the way to give Bob Huggins a fist bump before making his exit.
West Virginia returns to action Saturday, at home, against the No. 12 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. That game will tip off at 1:00PM ET and will only be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.