West Virginia rallies past Texas Tech
LUBBOCK, Texas — West Virginia coach Bob Huggins is glad he has a good bench when his starters get in foul trouble or are having a tough game.
“That's the good thing about this team, you know?” Huggins said. “Devin (Williams) gets in foul trouble, and Elijah (Macon) answers the bell. J.C. (Jevon Carter) gets in foul trouble, Tarik (Phillip) plays well. Jaysean (Paige) hadn't been playing very well, and he played pretty well today.”
Phillip scored West Virginia's final eight points, and the sixth-ranked Mountaineers ended the game on a 10-2 run to rally for an 80-76 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday, snapping a two-game losing streak.
“That shows you how resilient we can be,” Phillip said. “We knew this was a must-win for us. We had to leave everything on the floor.”
The Red Raiders (12-6, 2-5 Big 12) were up 76-72 with 1 minute, 10 seconds remaining when Phillip hit a 3-pointer, converted a layup and a free throw off a steal and scored the Mountaineers' final points on a dunk just before the buzzer.
Phillip finished with 20 points, Paige 22 and Jonathan Holton 13 to lead the Mountaineers (16-3, 5-2).
There were 12 lead changes, the last when Patrick took over in the last minute.
Zach Smith scored a career-high 18 points and Toddrick Gotcher added 12 for Texas Tech.
“They did what they had to do to win the game,” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. “Unfortunately, we didn't. It's a tough loss for us. Just a hard-fought game. I thought our kids played hard today.”
West Virginia scored 23 points off 17 Red Raiders turnovers, and the Mountaineers received 43 points from their bench.
“That's the problem with this league. There's too many good players on every team, and there's too many good coaches,” Huggins said. “You can't outsmart anybody. The guys that make shots and the teams that play the best that day win.”
The Red Raiders led for most of the second half. They missed just two of 34 free throws.
But the Mountaineers got 3-pointers when they needed them, hitting on 8 of 19 attempts.
Texas Tech put together a 13-3 run — including consecutive three-point plays from Smith and C.J. Williamson — to grab a 43-40 halftime lead.
Williams fouled out late in the game with just five points.