West Virginia Stays Perfect in Conference Play Behind Staten
By LANDON WRIGHT
LUBBOCK, Texas – Overtime wasn’t enough for Texas Tech to slow down Juwan Staten and West Virginia. Staten played 44 minutes, scored 25 points and dished out five assists to help boost West Virginia to an 89-86 overtime win against Texas Tech Monday night.
“He’s pretty much been doing it all year,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence and his understanding of what I want him to do is very, very good. He’s playing at a high level.”
Staten was consistent all game for the Mountaineers, scoring 11 points in the first half, 10 in the second half and four in overtime.
“Juwan Staten was having a field day in laying the ball up, then in the end when we did go to zone… He’s just a good player.” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. “He crossed our guys over then shot right in their face a couple of times on tough shots. When the clock was going down he made some tough shots.”
Eron Harris added 18 points and Terry Henderson scored 16 for the Mountaineers (10-5, 2-0 Big 12).
Jordan Tolbert led the Red Raiders with 18 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with1:36 left in overtime.
Toddrick Gotcher added 17 points and five assists, Jaye Crockett scored 15 points and Dusty Hannahs added 14 for Texas Tech (8-7, 0-2).
“Everybody dreams about games like overtime and close games,” Gotcher said. “We definitely don’t like blowout games. This is the type of game we want to play in; we just want to come out on top next time.”
The Red Raiders faced an 11-point deficit early in the second half, but Hannahs and Crockett came alive to regain the Red Raiders first lead since the opening minutes. Tech led 77-74 in the final minute of regulation, but Henderson hit a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to force overtime.
Crockett missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced a second overtime.
“These hurt more than losing by 50, the games, these close games, because you just fight hard to the very last second and it just kills you,” Crockett said.
Texas Tech got out to an early 5-0 lead, but Terry Henderson’s 3-pointer with 16:39 left in the first half gave West Virginia the lead, which it kept for the next 32 minutes until Crockett hit a jumper to tie it 68-68 with 3:55 left in regulation.
Hannahs started a 7-point run of his own with a 3-pointer with 15:00 left in regulation. He went on to score 10 of his points in a 3-minute span, helping Texas Tech pull within 53-50 with 12:27 to go.
The Red Raiders finally closed off their 11-point deficit and took a lead of their own, 70-68, on a Crockett layup with 2:55 remaining, but then saw the lead change four times in the final three minutes of regulation.
Crockett found Tolbert for an alley-oop layup to make it 75-74 with 55 seconds left in regulation. Robert Turner hit on both free throw attempts with 26 seconds left to extend the lead to 77-74.
The Mountaineers answered on a Terry Henderson 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to tie it 77-77 and send it into overtime.
“That’s what winning teams do, they make winning plays,” Smith said. “They get winning stops and we just didn’t do that, but I’ve got to give our guys a lot of credit, they battled back, they fought hard, they really rebounded the ball well.”