Joe Toussaint scored 22 points and Seth Wilson added 15, both season-highs, to help West Virginia defeat Texas Tech 76-61 on Wednesday in Big 12 Conference action in Lubbock, Texas.
The game was a matchup of the bottom two teams in the gritty league, which has six teams in the top 17 spot of the most recent AP poll.
West Virginia (12-8, 2-6 Big 12) led by five points after a back-and-forth first half and expanded its advantage to 55-47 after a three-point by James Okonkwo with 8:47 to play. Four free throws by Toussaint over a minute and a half stretch pushed the Mountaineers’ lead to 11 points with 6:09 remaining.
Another free throw by Erik Stevenson with 2:04 remaining increased the margin to 14 points and West Virginia walked to the finish line.
Stevenson added 16 points for West Virginia, which won despite shooting just 37.3 percent from the floor and committing 19 turnovers. The Mountaineers had a 44-27 advantage on the boards and a 50-15 edge in bench scoring.
Kevin Obanor’s 20 points led the Texas Tech (10-10, 0-8 Big 12) while De’Vion Harmon scored 14. The Red Raiders have dropped their first eight league games for the first time since 2012.
The Red Raiders came out on fire, running off the game’s first eight points with the opening run capped by a layup by Harmon at the 16:23 mark of the first half. Texas Tech led by 10 after a layup by Jaylon Tyson with 13:10 to play in the half before the Mountaineers closed to within 18-15 on a 3-pointer by Seth Wilson with 9:03 remaining.
West Virginia tied and then took the lead after a technical foul and four straight free throws by Erik Stevenson with 4:26 remaining in the half. The lead changed hands six times through the remainder of the first half, with the Mountaineer scoring the final six points to assume a 33-28 lead at the break.
Obanor led all scorers with 11 points before halftime while Toussaint paced the Mountaineers with 8 off the bench. The Red Raiders outshot West Virginia 43.5 percent to 30 percent in the first half despite making just 1 of 7 shots from beyond the arc.
–Field Level Media