LUBBOCK, Texas – West Virginia coach Bob Huggins watched his team score in ways he didn’t expect during a 77-61 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.
From 3-point range.
Freshman Eron Harris scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half to lead the Mountaineers. He hit three of five three-pointers in the second half after missing all four tries from beyond the arc in the first half. Terry Henderson, who has been nursing a bad back the last month or so, hit three of four three-pointers and Gary Browne hit on all three of his threes.
“Eron has shot it pretty consistent for us and Terry is starting to get well,” Huggins said. “Terry we thought all along was our best shooter. Gary Browne hit a big one. Gary hadn’t shot the ball very well. I think Gary came in shooting 16 percent from three or something like that.”
Aaric Murray added 12 points for the Mountaineers (10-11, 3-5), who were 10 of 18 on three-point attempts.
West Virginia never trailed but the Red Raiders kept it close briefly in the second half.
Ty Nurse scored 14 points for Texas Tech (9-10, 2-6) and Jaye Crockett added 13.
After outrebounding the Red Raiders 10-2 early in the game, West Virginia finished with 24 to Texas Tech’s 22.
Turnovers, especially in the second half, hurt the Red Raiders as the Mountaineers got 27 points off Texas Tech’s 22 turnovers.
“We just kind of let it slip, turned the ball over too much,” Nurse said. “During those times it’s crunch time and every possession matters.”
West Virginia came into the game hitting only 29 percent on three-pointers. The Mountaineers made half of their 12 attempts in the first half and were four for six after the break, with Harris getting three of those.
They averaged five 3s per game coming into Lubbock and doubled that.
The consistency of the Mountaineers’ shooting surprised Red Raiders interim coach Chris Walker.
“They made shots,” he said. “That’s something we didn’t anticipate was them making shots because that’s something they’ve struggled with all year.”
In the second half, the Mountaineers scored six straight points on a three-pointer by Harris, a free throw from Juwan Staten and a steal and a dunk by Staten on the ensuing possession to go up 48-38 with about 13 minutes remaining.
Texas Tech kept clawing back, using a 7-3 run that included a layup by Devan Kravic and a field goal by Jordan Tolbert.
“We have our runs just like any team has their runs, but I felt we did a better job focusing in the second half than we have in the past because they were making big runs,” Harris said. “They could have easily came back and won that game and took the lead, but we stayed focused.”
The two teams didn’t make a field goal in the next few minutes but free throws were plentiful – 12 by the two teams. Nurse, who hadn’t shot a free throw all year, hit two of six during that stretch Saturday.
The Mountaineers pulled away for good when Harris and Browne hit threes, and Dominique Rutledge and Staten each got a field goal during a 10-0 run to make it 69-55, while Texas Tech committed four straight turnovers.
Robert Morris 60, LIU Brooklyn 57: Velton Jones made a jumper with 11 seconds left to lift Robert Morris to a 60-57 win over LIU Brooklyn.
Karvel Anderson knocked down two free throws to seal the game for the Colonials (15-8, 7-3 Northeast Conference), who have won seven of their last eight games.
Anderson led Robert Morris with 13 points. Lucky Jones had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Russell Johnson added 12 points.
Robert Morris, which had an eight-point advantage with more than 10 minutes left to play, saw its lead vanish late in the contest. LIU Brooklyn’s Jason Brickman made two free throws to give his team a 55-53 lead with 3:01 remaining.
After Anderson’s 3-pointer, the Blackbirds regained the lead at 57-56 on Jamal Olasewere’s jumper. But Robert Morris pulled ahead for good after Jones’ jumper.
Brickman scored 19 points for LIU Brooklyn (11-11, 6-4). Olasewere had 18 points and 12 rebounds.
St. Bonaventure 68, Duquesne 60: Eric Mosley scored 14 points and led St. Bonaventure as it hit 54.5 percent from 3-point range in handing Duquesne its ninth consecutive loss, 68-60, in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
The Bonnies (10-10, 3-4) were 12-of-22 shooting from deep, including a 4-of-7 showing by Mosley, who is making 43.7 percent of his 3-point attempts this year.
Jordan Gathers added 13 points on 3-of-3 3-point shooting and Demitrius Conger had 11 for St. Bonaventure, which has won three of its past four since snapping a six-game losing streak.
Sean Johnson, Jeremiah Jones and Kadeem Pantophlet each had 11 points for the Dukes (7-14, 0-7), who have lost seven straight on the road. Derrick Colter added seven assists, including his 100th of the season, making him the eighth Duquesne freshman to reach the plateau during his rookie season.
The Bonnies opened with a 22-13 advantage and led the rest of the way.