Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Kevin McCullar finally sort of got his shot back and I’m happy about that. He scored 4 of 11, including 2 of 5 from deep, scoring 10 points, he led the team with 9 rebounds, had 2 assists, and 1 turnover.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Daniel Batcho sort of changed the math in the second half, he was fantastic, and West Virginia didn’t have an answer for his athleticism. He scored 6 points on 2 shots, just 1 of 2, and made all 4 free throws, grabbed 3 rebounds, and had 4 blocks. Those 4 blocks were huge.
- What a slugfest. They always are and that’s to be expected to an extent in West Virginia. The first thing to address is that apparently after the game, Mark Adams said that the X-rays on Adonis Arms were negative, so he’ll just be sore and not out with any sort of fracture. As to the game, the statistics indicated that West Virginia was a challenged offensive team and without their best offensive player, that very much ended being the case.
- West Virginia shot 37% in the first half including 5 of 11 from deep to keep things close, but in the second half Texas Tech’s defense clamped down and it was church. WVU made 4 of 32 shots in the second half. Yes, just 4 field goals for an entire half, and was 1 of 13 from deep, that’s 12.5% for field goals overall and 7.7% for 3-point shots. The only way that West Virginia scored was because they made 12 of 16 free throws, but Texas Tech made 11 of 12, so not a huge difference in free throw disparity.
- And that may have been another issue with West Virginia is that they went with a very forward-heavy lineup rather than play their guards and that proved to be maybe an issue. Their big guys are big and strong, but they are not shot-makers and my guess is that their guards would have done a bit more, but their offense was stagnant because they couldn’t create any sort of offense.
- I would not have guessed, but Texas Tech out-rebounded WVU by 6, 46-40 and both teams rebounded the ball well offensively. It was more of a collective effort for Texas Tech. Interestingly, Texas Tech had more turnovers than the Mountaineers, 12-9, so they held onto the ball, they just got terrible shots. And despite West Virginia running out a huge lineup, Texas Tech dominated inside again, points in the paint was 34-10 in favor of Texas Tech. That’s darn near obscene against a team like WVU.
- It will get lost a bit, but Davion Warren scored 9 of his 11, Terrence Shannon, Jr. scored 7 of his 9 and Daniel Batcho scored all 6 of his points in the second half. Those were your second half heroes offensively. Shannon didn’t just wait outside for a shot, he was a bull in a china shop as he drove to the basket and Warren’s ability to make shots in the second half were huge.
- I could have gone with Bryson Williams as the TTPOTG with his 15 points, especially since he also was nails in the second half scoring 10 of his 15 at that point, but wanted to go with someone different.
- West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins: “Quite frankly, they kind of big-boyed us in the second half. They just bounced it into us, bounced it into us until they got close enough to get it on the rim.”
- Advanced stats box score? Your highest graded player was Batcho, which is not something I would have guessed, then followed by Shannon, then Williams, Santos-Silva, and McCullar.
- Head coach Mark Adams: “It’s a typical West Virginia game. They’re so physical, and they play so hard. We always respect coming here to this facility and this environment. We knew it was going to be a very tough game. History speaks for itself, and this is a very tough place to play. This is only the second time that I’ve won personally here in seven or eight years, so I know how tough it is. Some of these guys who have been here before knowing, too. Great win for us. It was ugly, but certainly excited and proud of our guys. These are the type of games you can build on, build character toughness from.”
- Up next? Wednesday, February 8th at 8:00 p.m. Texas Tech will travel to Norman to take on the Sooners of Oklahoma, game will be broadcast on ESPNU.