Thursday, May 25, 2017

No. 7 WVU travels to Texas Tech on Tuesday

Daxter Miles Jr. (4) and Jevon Carter (2) combined to score 37 points in WVU's win over Oklahoma State. (Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Daxter Miles Jr. (4) and Jevon Carter (2) combined to score 37 points in WVU’s win over Oklahoma State.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

LUBBOCK, Texas–The road to the Big 12 Championship isn’t about to get any easier for No.7 West Virginia University as it takes on the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Tuesday at 9:15 p.m.

No. 3 Kansas has won 12 straight Big 12 regular-season titles but No. 2 Baylor and the Mountaineers are right there on the Jayhawks heels.

WVU (12-1) opened conference play last week by dominating Oklahoma State 92-75 in Stillwater.

And now the Mountaineers must conquer the Red Raiders on their home court.

Texas Tech (11-2) is off to a good start under first year head coach Chris Beard, who is looking to build on former coach Tubby Smith’s success.

After a nine season hiatus, the Red Raiders made the NCAA Tournament last year and much of that

Junior Zach Smith is one of the Big 12’s most talented athletes. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward is averaging 11.8 points and 8.0 rebounds. He has blocked a team-high 21 shots.

Joining Smith in the frontcourt is senior forward Anthony Livingston. He is averaging 13.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

Keenan Evans also poses a scoring threat. The junior guard averages 13.5 points per contest while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor.

Texas Tech is coming off a tough loss to Iowa State last Friday. The Red Raiders jumped out to a 10-point lead but fell short in the second half.

Members of the WVU basketball team get ready to take on UMKC on Saturday, December 17, 2016. (Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Members of the WVU basketball team get ready to take on UMKC on Saturday, December 17, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

But WVU cannot take Texas Tech for granted.

Last season the Mountaineers fell behind the Red Raiders and had to rally in the final 70 seconds to win.
“Those guys are a year older,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said. “They’ve been through this league and they understand how hard the league is. Having veteran guys – six seniors – that’s a lot of seniors.”
Guards Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. combined for 37 points and the Mountaineers forced the Cowboys to turn the ball over 19 times on Friday.
“I think our pressure, that’s what we do, I think it’s the key to every game,” Huggins said after the win. “We give up some easy baskets because we take chances. If we’re not turning them over and creating easy baskets for ourselves, then it’s going in the wrong direction for us.”

Brandon Watkins started for WVU against Oklahoma State in place of an injured Elijah Macon. Huggins said the junior practiced with the team on Sunday.

 

Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS

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