Player of the Game: Jarrett Culver was really fantastic offensively, 26 points on 8 of 13 from the floor, including 3 of 5 from the three-point line, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 5 turnovers. The 5 turnovers was not ideal, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Offensively, Culver was aggressive and took the ball to the hoop as he also had 10 free throws (he made 7 of them)
High Flyer of the Game: Not a lot of opportunities for dunks, Zhaire Smith had a dunk off of a Josh Webster dish and a nice dunk off of a fastbreak from Niem Stevenson.
Defender of the Game: There wasn’t a defensive game that really stood out to me. Maybe Josh Webster, who played nice on-ball defense and caused a couple of turnovers.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: I’ll go with Niem Stevenson, who had 24 points on 9 of 20, 4 rebounds, and an assist. Such a weird game as he had to sit a good part of the second half with 4 fouls. Stevenson takes way too many fade away jumpers when he’s trying to force offense.
- No Keenan Evans. No Zach Smith. No Justin Gray. The way the game started I would have guessed that Texas Tech would lose by 30 on Senior Night for the Mountaineers. I had a late meeting last night and I didn’t get a chance to listen to the radio on my way home until the score was 16-0 and figured out that the three starters were out and Texas Tech was playing short-handed at best.
- But it took all 40 minutes for West Virginia to put away a depleted Texas Tech squad. This was not easy for WVU and the Mountaineers could never run away from Texas Tech and that was despite the crowd really wanting to explode, that huge 30 point margin could never happen despite WVU being at full strength. And don’t get me wrong, I would guess that WVU fans would feel like the game was never threatening, but they also couldn’t put Texas Tech away.
- And in some ways, you could say that Texas Tech was without another big contributor as Tommy Hamilton had another really ineffective game, only 1-5 for the day and that one bucket was a layup that Francis found Hamilton on late in the second half.
- Jarrett Culver giveth and he also taketh away. He was fantastic offensively, scoring all of those 26 points mentioned above, but man, Culver would compound a good play by grabbing a defensive board and then turn around and toss the ball away for a turnover. You take away those 5 turnovers that he had and Texas Tech, without 3 seniors playing, has under 10 turnovers for the game.
- Texas Tech did get clobbered on the offensive glass, 13 overal, but they had 16 on their own as this relatively small lineup just crashed the offensive glass.
- When the score was 70-52, or something like that, it looked like WVU would just run away from this at the end of the game, but Texas Tech never backed down.
- I ope that this means that Zach, Keenan and Justin get healthy and get one last start on Saturday for Senior Night and these guys go out with the praise that they deserve.