West Virginia (9-5) at Texas Tech (8-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, January 6, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: United Spirit Arena (15,098) -- Lubbock, Texas. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: WVU 5-2, Texas Tech 7-2. Away Record: WVU 1-2, Texas Tech 0-3. Neutral Record: WVU 3-1, Texas Tech 1-1. Conference Record: WVU 1-0, Texas Tech 0-1. Series Record: West Virginia leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: The Texas Tech Red Raiders close out a three-game homestand on Monday night, as they clash with the West Virginia Mountaineers in Big 12 Conference action at United Spirit Arena.
Two days ago, the Red Raiders kicked off their league slate against nationally-ranked Iowa State and came up short in a 73-62 final at home. The setback was the third in the last four outings for Texas Tech, the lone win during the stretch being a 100-69 blowout versus Mount St. Mary's on Dec. 30.
As for the Mountaineers, they too began their league slate on Saturday afternoon as they challenged TCU in Texas, taking down the Horned Frogs by a score of 74-69. The win was the second in a row and the third in four tries for West Virginia.
The Mountaineers lead the all-time series by a 3-1 margin, but Tech managed to finally break into the win column in the most recent meeting during the 2013 Big 12 Conference Tournament with a 71-69 triumph.
In a game that featured seven ties and 10 lead changes, the Mountaineers managed to slip by TCU at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum by holding a 19-10 scoring edge at the free-throw line. Eron Harris came off the bench to net a team-high 22 points, shooting 4-of-5 behind the 3-point line, followed by Juwan Staten with 15 points and seven boards. Devin Williams accounted for 12 points and eight boards, followed by Terry Henderson with 10 points and another seven rebounds.
Harris, who had started every game for the Mountaineers this season prior to Saturday, continues to lead the program in scoring with his 18.6 ppg, thanks in large part to his 46.9 percent accuracy beyond the arc. Staten (16.2 ppg) follows close behind in the scoring column and is also in tune with the rest of his teammates having handed out 85 assists against only 24 turnovers. As a team, the Mountaineers are generating 80.6 ppg, while limiting the opposition to 67.4 ppg.
Texas Tech fell behind 5-0 right out of the gate against 13th-ranked Iowa State two days ago and, while the Red Raiders were able to respond moments later, for the most part the game was lost right then and there. Tech allowed the visitors to shoot not only 51.9 percent from the floor in the first half but also 12-of-13 at the free-throw line, en route to the double-digit win. Jaye Crockett recorded a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Dusty Hannahs and Jordan Tolbert responded with 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Shooting an impressive 59.2 percent from the floor through 14 games, Crockett leads the team in scoring overall at the moment with his 14.1 ppg and is also in a virtual tie with Tolbert (12.5 ppg) for the team lead on the glass with 6.6 rpg as well. Also a terrific shooter from the field at 60.5 percent, Tolbert leads the group with 16 blocked shots as the Red Raiders limit their opponents to a modest 68.5 ppg.
The Mountaineers haven't had much experience in true road games this season, winning only once in three tries, but this might be the right opponent at the right time to get them back in the swing of things.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: West Virginia 69, Texas Tech 65
01/06 10:49:11 ET