LUBBOCK TX- The Mountaineers will fly into west Texas Monday afternoon for a Tuesday night blockbuster against the 7th ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders.
The Red Raiders (14-5 overall, 6-4 in Big 12 play) come in at 4th in the Big 12 having won three straight games dating back to their loss in Morgantown.
Their stretch includes wins over the Louisiana State Tigers in the Big 12/SEC challenge, 12th ranked Oklahoma Sooners, and most recently an 11-point victory over the Kansas State Wildcats.
Texas Tech currently sits 3.5 games back of the first place Baylor Bears in the Big 12 standings.
The Red Raiders have received at times inconsistent scoring during their last few victories but are led predominantly by junior Mac McClung (17.2 PPG), sophomore Terrence Shannon Jr. (13.0 PPG), and junior Kyler Edwards (9.8 PPG).
Kevin McCullar also averages 10.7 points for Texas Tech, but the Mountaineers were able to keep his productivity in check during their trip to Morgantown, limiting the sophomore to just 12.5% shooting.
Mac McClung, who Mountaineer fans will remember most by dropping 30 points in Morgantown last month, has remained the Red Raiders’ most effective offensive threat down the stretch in the Big 12.
During January’s Big 12 tilt against each other, the game ended up coming down to a battle of guards, with Mountaineer sophomore Miles “Deuce” McBride making one more play than McClung down the stretch and giving the Mountaineers the narrow one-point victory.
Although Deuce has since bested this season high in scoring against Kansas, McBride had his best game of the season at the time against Texas Tech, scoring 24 points on 58.3% shooting.
When asked about the hot shooting of Miles McBride in the second-half, Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard’s response was simple.
“We had no answer.” said Beard.
While Beard said he thought his team played hard and tough basketball in Morgantown, he stated postgame that he was disappointed in the defensive effort exhibited down the stretch.
“The story of the night was our defense,” said Beard. “This is not a Texas Tech defense. We don’t give up 90 points around here. When a team goes twelve for nineteen from the three-point line, it’s obviously a great night shooting, but if you dissect the twelve makes, several of them we’re our fault. On a night when the other team is hot, you just can’t afford that many defensive breakdowns.”
The Mountaineers are 15-6 all time against the Red Raiders, including 4-4 on the road in Lubbock, where they will be playing Tuesday night.
The game will tip-off at 9:00 P.M. and will be televised on ESPN.
Cover Photo via Dale Sparks of WVU Athletic Communications