MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – (February 9, 2021) — On Tuesday night, the No. 14-ranked West Virginia men’s basketball team completed the regular-season series sweep against No. 7 Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.
“I’ve got to give our guys credit,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said. “We switched defenses a couple times and they did a great job. They did a better job of actually defensively knowing what to do than they did on offense at times.”
“I’m as pleased as I can be with how we played,” Huggins added.
This marks the first time since 2016 that the Mountaineers have won in Lubbock, Texas.
West Virginia (14-5, 7-3 Big 12) started the night with bad news, as they were going to be without guard Taz Sherman due to a groin injury.
The good news? WVU guard Sean McNeil had a career night against Texas Tech (14-6, 6-5 Big 12), finishing with 26 points. Right out of the gate, McNeil started 5-of-5 before his first miss with one minute to go in the first half.
“We’re running out of guys, so he was really important,” Huggins said after the win.
The Mountaineers led from the six-minute mark in the first half, all the way until the eight-minute mark in the second half. After Tech held the lead for a brief time, the Mountaineers took the lead back and didn’t let go of the gas.
West Virginia hit 12 free-throws as a team in the final three minutes of regulation. A memorable ejection by Chris Beard with 20 seconds left capped off the night on a great note.
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McNeil finished the game with 26 points on 8-of-11 shooting. The junior guard shot 5-of-7 from three on Tuesday night.
“I felt really good, body felt really good,” McNeil said. “I was just excited to play, we knew this was a big game for us on the road, especially after the game that we had with them at our place. We really wanted to come here and get this one.”
Deuce McBride had another 20-point performance against the Red Raiders, shooting 50% from the field. The Cincinnati, OH, native was in foul trouble in the first half but was able to lead the offense in the second to victory.
Derek Culver had an overall good night after dealing with four fouls for the majority of the second half. Culver finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
To round out the scoring, Jalen Bridges had nine points, hitting a huge three-pointer with seven minutes to go to give WVU the lead back.
Despite not having their third-leading scorer (Sherman) and with their two big men (Culver and Osabuohien) in foul trouble, the Mountaineers were able to go into Lubbock, Texas, and defeated a very good Texas Tech team.
“I’m just trying to win,” Huggins said. “I’m trying to put the best people we have available out there to do what they can do. That’s what we need them to do.”
“I thought our bench was really really good tonight, so we’ll keep putting them out there as long as they produce,” Huggins added.
No. 14 West Virginia will be able to soak-in the road win for a couple of days, before welcoming another top-15 opponent to the WVU Coliseum. Mountaineers are set to play No. 12 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. Coverage will be on ESPN+, starting at 1 p.m.