Carter, Miles Jr. Lead Senior Night Victory
MORGANTOWN — Normally, the emotions surrounding playing one’s final game at home is too much for the player and his performance will suffer because of them.
That was not be the case Monday night at the Coliseum as a sellout crowd gave seniors Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. the ovation each deserved during pregame ceremonies and then the two standouts gave the packed house everything it needed to cheer for as they led the Mountaineers on a 16-0 run as No. 20 West Virginia’s went on to hand No. 12 Texas Tech an 84-74 setback on ESPN’s ‘Big Monday’.
The duo, which has 220 starts at WVU, combined for 22 points and seven assists in the game’s first 20 minutes as the Mountaineers took a 42-29 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Miles Jr.’s seven first half 3-point attempts moved him ahead of Lionel Armstead, who attempted 493 from 1999-02, eighth place on the school’s all-time Career 3-point field goals attempted.
Carter’s seven assists moved him in front of Ron Williams (1966-68) for third place in career assists and within three of breaking the all-time mark for season assists — also held by Williams with 197.
“West Virginia and Coach Huggs will always hold a special place in my heart,” Carter said during a video shown during at halftime. “Coach Huggs gave me a chance to play when no one else would and I will never forget that.”
Carter finished with a team-high 21 points while Miles Jr. led four others into double figures with 18 as WVU improved to 22-8 overall and 11-6 in Big 12 play with a road game Saturday at Texas to close out the regular season.
Junior Esa Ahmad put together a solid night’s work with 11 points and as many boards while sophomores Sagaba Konate and James ‘Beetle’ Bolden chipped in 16 and 10 points respectively.
Konate added three more blocked shots to his season total and now has an even 100 – 24 behind D’or Fischer’s 2004 mark set in 2004 — and his career total of 152 puts him with six of moving ahead of both Marcus Goree (1997-00) and John Flowers (2008-11), who each finished with 157 blocked shots.
Texas Tech, now 22-8 overall and 10-7 in league play, received a game-high 26 points from Jarrett Culver and 24 from Niem Stevenson — 15 coming on 5-of-10 from behind the arc.
But, the game belonged to West Virginia’s seniors, who stayed behind after the final horn and went into the student section to show their appreciation for all the support they were given by the group during their five years in Morgantown.
The only negatives on the night for Bob Huggins’ unit came on the boards where it was outrebounded by a 40-32 margin and at the charity stripe where the Mountaineers struggled, going 16 of 27 (59.3 percent).
“We were obviously ready to play because we made some shots,” Huggins said. “We’re pretty good when we make shots.
“I thought our defense was terrific in the first half and then we got afraid to commit a foul and gave up some drives to the bucket in the second half.”
West Virginia also saw one more record on the night as the 14,542 fans which showed up help set a new season attendance mark.
“I’ve never seen two seniors more ready to play than JC and Dax,” Huggins said. “They have both had great careers and I hope they will continue.”