Basketball

Post-Game Thoughts: West Virginia 88, Texas Tech 87

An L on the road.

Game Links:

Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Where would this team be without Mac McClung making buckets? McClung was 11 of 21, scoring 30 points, 4 of 8 from the three-point line,, 3 assists, and just 1 turnover.

The Motion:

  • Ah, yes, I love staying up late to watch a game, be down by double-digits, tie the game at half, go up by double-digits, only to lose said game in the final seconds. It’s a perfect way to cap the evening.
  • I don’t have a ton to say, but West Virginia shot lights out from the three-point line, 12 of 19 for the game and West Virginia shot 58% from the floor. In fact, West Virginia shot better from the three-point line than from the free throw line. West Virginia ended the game going 10 for 10. There was this tweet from ESPN researcher Jared Berson who wrote that, “West Virginia did not miss a field goal attempt in the final 9 and a half minutes tonight. They went a perfect 10-10 over that span. Texas Tech is the first team over the last decade to only turn it over twice, score 85 points, and still lose.”
  • I hated the last handful of sequences for Texas Tech on offense, in particular the Terrence Shannon three-point attempt, which the offense was happy to give to him and he missed badly. Shannon had time to drive to the bucket and attempt to make something happen, but just a three-point shot that’s not his forte. The McClung fade away jumper to win the game was fine, but he was absolutely on his own, and maybe rightfully so, but that was the only option.
  • If you want to take any solace from this game, it would be that Texas Tech really did play well offensively, making 47% of their shots, 41% of three-point shots, and turned the ball over 2 times the entire game. West Virginia is avery good defensively, and Texas Tech scored at will. If you want something to depress you, it would be the fact that the defense simply could not stop West Virginia offensively. I know a lot of fans are complaining about the free throw disparity, 27 for West Virginia and 12 for Texas Tech.
  • Some stats. West Virginia out-rebounded Texas Tech by 1 board, and the offensive rebound disparity was 11 to 5 in favor of Texas Tech, which is not normal. Texas Tech’s bench out-scored 32-21 and also had 25 points off of turnovers compared to none for WVU. West Virginia scored 1.294 points per possession, compared to Texas Tech at 1.299, which is insane given how well West Virginia shot, but include the turnovers, 2 for Texas Tech and 12 for WVU, plus the offensive rebounds, makes a huge difference.
  • I liked the minutes that I saw from Clarence Nadolny and Chibuzo Agbo and think that trend should continue, along with Tyreek Smith. Texas Tech has struggled to find someone to give this team back-up point guard minutes and if Nadolny is that version, which is patient and not forcing the action, then I think that’s a really good option and he’s not a liability defensively.
  • The advanced stat site that I love, T-Rank, said that West Virginia would win by 1 point, so I take some solace knowing that fancy numbers said that Texas Tech would lose a heart-breaker. I’d also add that it took WVU playing lights out and not ever missing a shot to beat Texas Tech at home. Not ideal in how this game makes you feel, but I can sort of live with that. I’d also add that T-Rank says that Texas Tech wins the rest of their games except for Baylor and Kansas on the road, but the trend for Kansas may be changing. I think Texas Tech is set to go on a pretty decent run.
  • Head coach Chris Beard:

    “We’re more than halfway through the season,” Beard said. “It’s time to start winning these games. I don’t know what I can take away. What I can take away is we got out-toughed in portions of the first half. Then I thought we kind of out-toughed them in the second half of the first half. Now it comes down to the team that executes the ball the best. We didn’t execute on defense down the stretch. You have to find a way to win the game when you score almost 90 points on the road.”

  • Up next? LSU in Baton Rouge on Saturday, January 30th at 1:00 p.m. with the game set to be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2.

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