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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 22, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: WVU Coliseum (14,000) -- Morgantown, West Virginia. Television: Big 12 Network. Home Record: TTU 8-3, WVU 5-4. Away Record: TTU 1-4, WVU 2-3. Neutral Record: TTU 1-1, WVU 3-1. Conference Record: TTU 2-3, WVU 2-3. Series Record: West Virginia leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: The Texas Tech Red Raiders will try for their first three-game winning streak of the season on Wednesday night when they tangle with the West Virginia Mountaineers in a Big 12 Conference bout at WVU Coliseum.
Texas Tech opened up Big 12 action on the wrong foot a few weeks ago by suffering three straight losses, but since then it has turned the corner with wins over nationally-ranked Baylor (82-72) and most recently at TCU on Saturday (60-49), its first road win this season in five tries. The Red Raiders have surged to 10-8 overall following their recent hot streak.
WVU is also 10-8 this season but has stumbled of late with three consecutive losses, including a 78-56 blowout defeat at the hands of Kansas State on Saturday. The Mountaineers have slipped to 2-3 in conference play and sport just a 5-4 ledger on their home floor.
The all-time series between the team is 3-1 in favor of WVU, although Texas Tech won the most recent meeting, 71-69 in last season's Big 12 Tournament.
The Red Raiders were far from impressive on the offensive end of the court in their most recent contest, as they shot a meager 37.8 percent from the field, but they cruised to the 11-point victory behind an outstanding defensive effort. They held TCU to a lowly 10-of-49 from the field (.204), and their margin of victory would have been even greater had the Horned Frogs not pieced together a solid afternoon from the foul line (26-of-31). Dejan Kravic sparked the victory from the frontcourt with 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. Dusty Hannahs scored a team-high 13 points off the bench, while Robert Turner was also stellar with 12 points.
Texas Tech typically boasts a much more impressive offensive attack, as it shoots 47.4 percent from the floor en route to 73.4 ppg, which is 4.7 ppg more than it allows. The forward-heavy squad owns a +4.5 rebounding margin and are paced by the efforts of Jaye Crockett (14.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Jordan Tolbert (12.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg), who both have a field-goal efficiency of greater than 56 percent. Turner is the top threat from the perimeter, scoring 10.1 ppg and handing out 3.1 apg.
The Mountaineers didn't have much of a shot in their latest outing, as they fell behind Kansas state by 13 at the half and never sniffed the lead after intermission on their way to a 22-point defeat. They were outshot from the field in the decisive setback, 54.9 percent to 32.7 percent, and committed a game-high 15 turnovers. Eron Harris shined with 21 points on 4-of-8 from 3- point range and 7-of-8 from the line, while Juwan Staten tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds but also coughed up seven turnovers.
Scoring points has not been an issue on the season as a whole for WVU, as it shoots 45.3 percent from the field for 78.6 ppg, although that scoring average has shrunk to just 65.7 ppg on its current losing streak. High point totals are necessary for WVU to win, as its scoring defense (70.0 ppg) has not been up to par. Harris (17.6 ppg) and Staten (17.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg) are neck-and-neck for the team-lead in scoring, with Harris shooting 46-of-113 from beyond the arc and Staten dishing out 5.9 apg. Terry Henderson (11.6 ppg) and Devin Williams (9.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) are also regular contributors.
WVU is trending in the wrong direction in recent weeks, but its losses have at least come to high-quality competition in Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma State. Returning home to take on a Red Raiders squad who has struggled on the road, expect the Mountaineers to get back on track.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: West Virginia 77, Texas Tech 73
01/22 10:40:06 ET
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