Saturday, October 22, 2016

No. 6 WVU looks to bounce back at Texas Tech

WVU's Daxter Miles Jr. (4) and Texas' Javan Felix (3) (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

WVU’s Daxter Miles Jr. (4) and Texas’ Javan Felix (3)
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– The sixth-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers are looking to bounce back after Wednesday’s disappointing loss to Texas when they travel to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday.

While the Mountaineers have shown they have potential to be a contender, they have also shown weakness this week.

WVU (15-3, 4-2) made just eight of 23 from the foul line against Texas. The Mountaineers struggled making baskets in general.

WVU shot 31 percent from the floor and made just 3-of-23 from 3-point range.

Shooting has been on the decline for the Mountaineers. WVU shot 48.4 percent in its first 14 games but is at 36.8 in the last four.

The Mountaineers put forth a lackluster effort in general against Texas.

“It’s amazing how much your attitude not only affects your performance, but also your outlook on things,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins. “You see this coming and I’ve done this for a long, long, long, long time and I don’t know how to stop it.”

Devin Williams and Jonathan Holton both had a double-double against the Longhorns.

Holton is seventh in the country in offensive rebounds, averaging 4.7 rebounds per game.

WVU's  Devin Williams (41) and Brandon Watkins (20) cheer on teammates against Oklahoma. (Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS)

WVU’s Devin Williams (41) and Brandon Watkins (20) cheer on teammates against Oklahoma.
(Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS)

The Mountaineers will have to perform better if they want to beat an improved Red Raiders’ squad.

Texas Tech (12-5, 2-4) beat Texas this season and the Red Raiders have won nine of their 11 games played at United Supermarkets Arena this season.

Senior guards Devaugntah Williams and Toddrick Gotcher lead the way for Texas Tech.

“Williams has become very, very consistent for them,” Huggins said. “He’s a hard guard because he really drives it at you and keeps putting pressure on the rim. Gotcher has shot it really well from the perimeter and their inside guys are very athletic; they’re very long.”

The 6-foot-4 Williams 13.2 points per game and the 6-foot-4 Gotcher averages 10.9 points.

The Red Raiders have seven players averaging more than 7.6 ppg. Junior Aaron Ross came off the bench and scored 16 points in Monday’s 76-69 at TCU.

Justin Gray scored 14 points off the bench in a game where Williams and Gotcher weren’t needed to carry the load.

Texas Tech shot hot 55.3 percent from the floor against the Horned Frogs, including nine of 15 from beyond the arc.

The Red Raiders will be without center Norense Odiase, who broke his foot against TCU.  The sophomore averages nine points per game.

Saturday’s game will be the ninth meeting between the two teams. WVU has been successful against Texas Tech, posting a 7-1 record.

The Mountaineers are 6-0 against the Red Raiders since joining the Big 12 and 3-0 in Lubbock.

Texas Tech’s lone win in the series was a 71-69 decision in the 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship opening round.

Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. (ET) on ESPNews



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