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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: WVU Coliseum (14,000) -- Morgantown, West Virginia. Television: Big 12 Network, MASN. Home Record: TTU 8-9, WVU 7-3. Away Record: TTU 1-4, WVU 3-6. Neutral Record: TTU 0-0, WVU 2-3. Conference Record: TTU 2-9, WVU 5-6. Series Record: West Virginia leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Texas Tech Red Raiders try to halt a season-long, five-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon as they tangle with the West Virginia Mountaineers in Big 12 Conference action at WVU Coliseum.
Texas Tech dropped a 91-67 decision to nationally-ranked Oklahoma State on Wednesday night for its ninth loss in the last 10 games. The Red Raiders are just 9-13 overall and a dismal 2-9 in conference play, and they haven't had much success away from home either (1-4).
West Virginia took a three-game win streak into Wednesday's matchup at Baylor, but it suffered an 80-60 loss to fall back to .500 overall (12-12) and 5-6 in the Big 12.
These two teams met for the first time as conference rivals on Feb. 2, with WVU winning in Lubbock, 77-61, to take a 2-0 lead in the all-time series.
The Red Raiders allowed Oklahoma State to net an astounding 55 points in the first half as they got down by 21, and they could never recover from there. They shot a meager 37 percent from the floor on the evening, and their 24- point setback could have been even worse had it not been for a solid 20-of-29 showing from the foul line. Dusty Hannahs had a strong performance off the bench with 14 points on 5-of-8 from the field (including 3-of-5 from 3-point range), while Josh Gray was the only other player to reach double figures with 10 points. On the season, TTU has been plagued by poor play at both ends of the court. Not only does it shoot less than 42 percent from the field for only 66.0 ppg, but it ranks last in the league in scoring defense (71.4 ppg), resulting in a league-worst scoring margin of -5.3. Jaye Crockett tallies 11.9 ppg on 51 percent shooting to go along with 6.9 rpg. Jordan Tolbert (9.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Dejan Kravic (9.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 bpg) are also effective in frontcourt. Gray adds 9.0 ppg, but he has more turnovers (71) than assists (65).
Despite trailing by just four points at the half against Baylor earlier in the week, WVU lost control after intermission as it suffered the 20-point loss. The Mountaineers shot a solid 43.5 percent from the field on the night, but they allowed Baylor to make nearly 51 percent. They also lost the turnover battle by an 18-9 margin. Eron Harris (19 points) and Deniz Kilicli (13 points) both had solid scoring nights, while Juwan Staten played 30 minutes off the bench and made the most of it with seven assists. Much like the Red Raiders, WVU ranks in the lower half of the conference in both scoring offense (66.3 ppg) and scoring defense (65.7 ppg), although it benefits from positive turnover (+1.8) and rebounding (+1.7) margins. The Mountaineers are the rare team that is without a double-digit scorer, with Aaric Murry (9.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg) leading the way, but they utilize a deep rotation, as seven players net at least 6.7 ppg, and 11 put up 2.4 ppg or more. Staten (9.0 ppg) leads the team in both assists (73) and steals (28), while Harris (8.9 ppg) has drained 33-of-83 tries from beyond the arc (.398).
WVU hasn't been very impressive in its first season as a member of the Big 12, but it has still performed well enough for it to have a leg up on the Red Raiders, especially at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: West Virginia 75, Texas Tech 63
02/16 10:33:49 ET
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