Three Thoughts on West Virginia’s 78-62 Victory over Texas Tech in Big 12 Tourney Opening Round
The West Virginia Mountaineers and Texas Tech Red Raiders squared off in the opening game of the 2023 Big 12 Tournament Wednesday evening. It was the former that got the better of the latter in a 78-62 decision, and here are three thoughts on the contest.
Settling the score
The Mountaineers handled the Red Raiders by double-digits, 76-61, in Lubbock. The Red Raiders exacted some revenge and topped the Mountaineers 78-72 in mid-February in Morgantown to split the regular season series. So, that set up a rubber match at a neutral site where neither team would have much of an advantage. As it turns out, the ‘Eers get the best of the Raiders and are able to lay claim to a best-of-three victory against their league mates from West Texas.
West Virginia overcomes Texas Tech’s early surge
While the final score ended up quite lopsided in West Virginia’s favor, it was actually Texas Tech who delivered the first punch. And it was a pretty strong one. Without head coach Mark Adams, who has now announced he’s stepping down from his post, Tech came out with a nice 9-2 surge. It didn’t trail until West Virginia forward Emmitt Matthews banked home a layup at the 10:42 mark of the first half on the heels of guard Erik Stevenson’s 3-pointer moments before. Teams then traded the lead a few times before the Red Raiders eventually took over and never trailed again.
The ‘Eers boost their seeding, put final nail in Red Raiders’ coffin
Last weekend, the Mountaineers locked up an NCAA Tournament berth when they took down then-No. 11 Kansas State. Now it’s all about seeding for them, and they added another victory to their tally and resumé. That can only help, as a date with No. 3 Kansas ensues, an upset of which could really push them forward. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders’ NCAA hopes, which required a Big 12 Tournament Title, are officially dashed.