Game Recap: Texas Tech 72, West Virginia 71

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Game Recap

Player of the Game: Brandone Francis was unbelievable. 17 points on 5 of 6 from the field, 2 boards, a steal and 2 turnovers.

High Flyer of the Game: No one really gets to take off against West Virginia. I don’t even know if there were any dunks.

Defender of the Game: I’ll go with Zhaire Smith, who was defending Carter at the end of the game. And truthfully, this is really Chris Beard’s plan coming into fruition, having four guys who can switch and guard the three-point line and play terrific help defense.

Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: I’ll go with Zhaire, who had 9 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks and just 1 turnover. He’s not a freshman any more.

Game Notes:

  • First off, kudos to the sold out crowd for the game. This is how the big boys do it and now, you need to do it each and every game. Win or lose, this is how you do it.
  • For those of you who thought that West Virginia fouled every time that they pressed, then you are probably right and you should also not be upset. This is what West Virginia does and you’ve got to get aclimiated to the aspect that West Virginia plays extremely tough and hard-nosed defense. That’s part of the deal and opposing teams have to adjust accordingly.
  • The first half was one where it was way too many turnovers and way too many bad shots. That’s partly West Virginia and that’s partly part of what happens when you play in the Big 12 and have to take on Big 12 opponents.
  • The crowd was just waiting for an opportunity to explode and the backdoor by Zhaire Smith and the drive to the hoop by Culver, his first clean look all day, were teh start of the crowd finally getting back into the game. That brought the game to within 7. Then, Moretti hits a three-point shot as soon as WVU goes to the zone and then Keenan Evans getsa free pass on a break-away layup, bringing the game to 3 with 10 minutes left. Francis hits a three-pointer and it’s on.
  • Javon Carter goes out with 5 minutes left in the game with his 4th foul.
  • Keenan Evans gets his 4th foul with 4 minutes left in the game.
  • I can’t over-state how big Brandone Francis was today. He took over the point forward spot that Niem Stevenson usually has and he was terrific directing traffic and picking his spots to score.
  • Near perfect from the free throw line, 24-28.
  • Keenan Evans had a terrible first half, but by the end of the game, he had scored 20 points and been absolutely instrumental in the win.
  • Tommy Hamilton had a bad game. He looked uncomfortable and it just wasn’t happening, but Norense Odiase manned the middle and his stats weren’t anything to write home about, but he sure as heck played incredibly solid defense and without his presence, Texas Tech doesn’t win the game.
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