LUBBOCK, Texas–When things were looking grim for No.6 West Virginia, Tarik Phillip caught fire and carried the Mountaineers to an 80-76 come-from-behind win in Lubbock on Saturday afternoon.
The junior guard came up with two crucial steals and baskets late in the final minutes of the game.
Texas Tech (12-6, 2-5 Big 12) was up 76-72 when Phillip got hot. He nailed a 3, made a layup and a free throw off a steal and dunked one just before time ran out.
Zach Smith led the Red Raiders with a career-high 18 points. Toddrick Gotcher tallied 12. Justin Gray and Aaron Ross both had 11.
Phillip saved the day with 30 seconds left in the game when Ross was driving in for a layup that would of put the Red Raiders back in front. Phillip stripped the ball from Ross and finished with a layup at the other end. He completed the 3-point play after being fouled by Zach Smith.
WVU (16-3, 5-2) was up 78-76 with 24 seconds to play. Texas Tech had one more shot to tie the game or go for the win. Gotcher put up a three but missed. Philip pried the ball away from Gray and drove down the court and banged one home to seal the win.
Devin Williams was held to just five points after getting in foul trouble early. He fouled out late in the second half.
Williams’ steal and stuff gave the Mountaineers a 14-9 lead with 12:14 to play in the first half.
Texas Tech and WVU slugged it out much of the first half before the Red Raiders went on a 10-1 run to take a 43-40 lead at the half.
The Mountaineers shot well on Saturday, connecting on 8-of-19 from 3 and 22-of-28 from the line. WVU shot 51 percent from the field.
Texas Tech was outstanding from the free throw line making 32-of-34.
There were 12 lead changes between the two teams.
WVU forced 17 turnovers and had 10 steals. The Mountaineers scored 23 points off the Red Raiders’ turnovers.
WVU’s bench, which included both Paige and Phillip, scored 43 points.
The Mountaineers are part of a four-way tie for first place in the Big 12.
WVU returns home on Tuesday when Kansas State comes to town.