Saturday, January 21, 2017

No. 10 WVU pummels Texas Tech, sends seniors out on top

Tarik Phillip (12) and Jaysean Paige (5) celebrate a play on Wednesday night against Texas Tech. (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

Tarik Phillip (12) and Jaysean Paige (5) celebrate a play on Wednesday night against Texas Tech.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–It was an emotional evening filled with exciting Big 12 basketball on Wednesday.

Senior Jaysean Paige and sophomore Daxter Miles Jr. each scored 15 points as No.10 West Virginia pounded Texas Tech 90-68 on Senior Night at the Coliseum.

Paige, Jonathan Holton and Richard Romeo III all made their final home appearance and the Mountaineers (23-7, 12-5 Big 12) sent them out on top.

WVU had 10 different players get in on the scoring action, including Romeo who had appeared in just eight games prior to Wednesday’s game.

Nathan Adrian and Tarik Phillip both had 13 points. Holton added seven points and 11 rebounds.

Justin Gray led the Red Raiders (18-11, 8-9) with 15 points and Aaron Ross scored 14.

Miles broke a slump where he had scored just 14 total points in four games. He sat out two of those games due to a hamstring injury, but the 6-foot-3 guard was on point against Texas Tech.

Miles connected on 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.

The Mountaineers’ pressure defense caused lots of problems for the Red Raiders. WVU forced 19 turnovers, leading to 34 points.

The Mountaineers had 11 steals.

Daxter Miles Jr. (4) takes a shot against Texas Tech on March 2, 2016. (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

Daxter Miles Jr. (4) takes a shot against Texas Tech on March 2, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

“I thought our pressure was pretty good,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “That crew (Texas Tech) has played really well (of late) and I thought we really took them out of what they wanted to do.”

WVU remains in sole possession of second place with No.6 Oklahoma right on their heels. The Sooners swept the season series against the Mountaineers and would own the tiebreaker.

The Mountaineers had a 40-23 edge over the Red Raiders on the glass. WVU had 19 offensive boards.

“I thought we were just manhandled tonight,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “I thought our kids shot the ball OK, did some things well. We just couldn’t defend the post like we wanted to.”

The Red Raiders jumped out to an early 2-0 run, but the Mountaineers led the rest of the night. WVU went on a 17-4 run to take control of the game.

Texas Tech's Zach Smith (11) and WVU's Jonathan Holton (1) line up for free throws on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

Texas Tech’s Zach Smith (11) and WVU’s Jonathan Holton (1) line up for free throws on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

Elijah Macon’s monstrous dunk with two seconds remaining gave the Mountaineers a 41-26 lead at the half.

The Mountaineers largest was 82-55 with 4:52 left.

Huggins tied Cliff Ellis for ninth place on the all-time wins list with 788.

WVU will travel to Waco on Saturday to take on the Baylor Bears.

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