Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game
I’ll go with Terrence Shannon, and surprisingly I missed a good chunk of what he did, but his stat line is ridiculous. Shannon was 5 of 8 from the floor and 12 of 14 from the free throw line, scored 23 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, had 1 turnover, and 2 steals. Getting to the line was absolutely critical and making free throws was also ridiculously critical, I thought Shannon continuously driving to the rim was significant and he’s going left and right nearly all game. Oh, and Davide had a career high of 25 points. Acknowledged, but why not give it to Shannon today.
- I missed almost the entire first half of the game, last minute soccer duty got in the way, but I still was able to see 2 hours of basketball, which should confirm that this was an incredibly long game, a game that nearly took 3 hours to play. Over 50 fouls will do that in a game, Texas Tech had 28 fouls on the night and West Virginia had 23. There were 41 free throw attempts for WVU and 32 for Texas Tech, bot teams shot above 80%, WVU 80.5% and Texas Tech 87.5% and that’s probably the difference in the game.
- Texas Tech was playing a bit short-handed. Kevin McCullar was suffering from concussion symptoms after the game on Saturday, so the doctors held him out (he was cleared by the doctors and his parents on Saturday). Of course that means that an already short bench became that much shorter, essentially a 6-man rotation for the game with Nadolny, Benson, and Techew each receiving less than 10 minutes.
- Texas Tech had a lead going into the first half, a strange way to end that half though. A double-digit lead was reduced to 4 in less than a minute, a couple of free throws, a three-pointer, a turnover by Texas Tech, a made free throw and another layup under the basket.
- Texas Tech finished the game with 28 turnovers. 13 of them were in the first half, so that means that Texas Tech was worse in the second half with 15. The press was something that Texas Tech simply could not handle on a regular basis and had they all of those possessions, we might be talking about a blowout rather than an 8 point win.
- Beard said this after the game, some of the biggest difference makers in this game and the Kentucky game? Making shots, which Texas Tech did in spades. Texas Tech made 54% of their shots including 64% of three-point shots. Compare that to under 20% against Kentucky. Oh, and that 54% is with 28 turnovers in 73 possessions. I don’t want to do the math on turnover percentage, but holy smokes that’s high. West Virginia did not murder Texas Tech on the boards, in fact Texas Tech had a 9 board advantage and held West Virginia to 12 offensive rebounds, but there were almost no defensive boards to grab, only 11, which is weird to have the defensive boards be less than the offensive boards.
- The other two stalwarts to this game were Davide Moretti, who had a career high 25 points, and Jahmi’us Ramsey, who had 21 points. Both shot the ball incredibly well and after a game of Ramsey being completely absent from the team at times, he was omni-present this game. Texas Tech absolutely needed that. Especially a game where Kyler Edwards struggled with foul trouble, and to get a shot off.
- Moretti was 6 of 10 from the floor including 4 of 5 from the three-point line and 9 of 9 from the line with 2 assists and 4 turnovers.
- Ramsey was 7 of 11 from the floor, 5 of 8 from the three-point line, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 turnovers.
- I should also just mention how warrior-like Holyfield and Clarke were last night. Clarke had a gimpy ankle where he probably wasn’t able to go as hard as he wants, but he finished with 2 points on just 2 shots, but he had 6 rebounds, 7 assists, a block, and 3 turnovers on the night. I think we can all guess that Holyfield’s shoulder is a bit injured, hence the brace, but then he goes up and is shooting a three-pointer, so I’m just not sure. Holyfield had 11 points on 4 of 7 from the floor, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
- This was a testy game, there were 4 technical fouls, a series of events in the second half where Shannon bumped a West Virginia player (intentionally), was given a technical foul (rightfully so) and then three different West Virginia players lost their composure, talking way too much after a play (at least too much for the refs) and Texas Tech took advantage of it. I don’t recall refs calling technical fouls on players for talking trash as much as they have this year. I think that Edwards has been called for a technical foul for saying “and one” so it’s been a weird year.
- Head coach Chris Beard on the win:
“It was obviously a hard-fought win. It was everything we expected from one of the most physical teams in all of college basketball. Above all, I thought our guys responded well. We didn’t win all the battles during the game, but we won our fair share. Obviously 3-point shooting was on our side tonight, but to out-rebound West Virginia was probably the biggest stat of the game for us because it showed how we were competing, and gang-rebounding and we had a great night shooting the ball as well. We’ve got a lot of respect for that team and I just told the guys that it was a great win. When we beat a team that’s that good, it’s a good win.”
- Davide Moretti on the game and if this was a must-win game:
“Absolutely. We don’t say that very often, but it was a must-win for us. We had to bounce back after a tough loss against Kentucky and we got the job done. I think we’ll go into Kansas with good momentum and bring our A-game.”
- I thought it was a nice touch for the students to sing Country Roads after the game. I think there were some West Virginia fans who were a bit angry at this, but I think on a scale of offensive things, this is pretty innocuous and harmless. As we all know, John Denver is actually a Texas Tech grad, so you’d think we’d get a pass for it.
- West Virginia and Texas Tech are both 4-3 in conference play. That’s how tight this thing is in the middle of the pack.
- Up next is Kansas in Lawrence on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN2. Don’t forget to cancel your ESPN+ subscriptions.