MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–What is the one thing you can say about the West Virginia University basketball team?
They have heart and never give up. The 12th-ranked Mountaineers have shown that on numerous occasions and Monday night’s thriller against No. 11 Texas Tech was no different.
WVU rallied from a 12-point deficit with 7:11 remaining in the game to comeback and beat the Red Raiders in an 88-87 victory at the WVU Coliseum.
Trailing by one, Deuce McBride hit a jumper with 5.9 seconds left to seal the deal for the Mountaineers.
Overall, WVU looked sharp offensively at times, hitting big baskets. In fact, it was a shootout between the two defensive-minded teams.
“We went 10-for-10. We went 10-for-10 down the stretch,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “I mean, you go 10-for-10 down the stretch, you’re going to win a bunch of games. We finally made shots. We had opportunities. We missed free throws. We turned it over. We were just our own worst enemy for the first 32 minutes and then the ball started going in for us. It’s a crazy thing. It goes in, and it has a tendency to keep on going in. It was different people. I thought (senior forward) Gabe (Osabuohien) had a great spring for (junior guard) Sean (McNeil) when we were running the flat screen for Deuce. Sean was wide open, and they gang-guard you anyways, so we knew they were going to gang up on whoever drove it into the lane. It was just a matter if we could we pitch it back.”
The Mountaineers forced just two turnovers the entire game and were outscored on points off turnovers 25-0.
McBride was a clutch piece for WVU in the win. The sophomore scored a career-high 24 points.
Over the last few games, Jalen Bridges has really begun to emerge for the Mountaineers. The redshirt freshman had 13 points against Texas Tech.
In his last five games, Bridges has been finding the net, especially from beyond the arc. He has made 10-of-15 3-point shots.
Another bright spot for WVU has been Jordan McCabe. The junior has been getting more action and making the most of his playing time.
He is making less mistakes and even finding the net. McCabe finished with 10 points against the Red Raiders and eight in Saturday’s win over Kansas State.
The Mountaineers had a 34-33 edge over Texas Tech on the boards. Derek Culver led the team with nine rebounds but got some help from his teammates. McBride had seven rebounds. Bridges had five boards and several players picked up three.
However, the Red Raiders had an 11-5 advantage on the offensive glass.