West Virginia Holds on to Knock off Texas Tech
The Mountaineers came out on the winning side on Saturday afternoon, toppling the Red Raiders of Texas Tech, 67-60.
The victory marks West Virginia’s first win in their last four games after previously falling to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
"You saw a bunch of happy young ladies today, they're fighting, they're trying... we're just not shooting the ball well right now but we sucked it up and played defense and outrebounded them," said WVU head coach Mike Carey.
The Mountaineers ran out to a 9-3 lead halfway through the opening quarter. The stretch was highlighted by a pair of jumpers off the fingers of Tynice Martin and Kari Niblack.
After the Red Raiders cut into the deficit and made it a one-point ballgame, Madisen Smith nailed a three and Kari Niblack hit a few free throws as well as a jumper to extend the Mountaineer lead to ten points with less than two minutes remaining in the first.
Texas Tech went on a 14-0 run through the end of the first quarter and the opening minutes of the second to take a four-point lead after a Brittanny Brewer layup three minutes into the second.
The score went back and forth following the Red Raider run before a slew of layups from Esmery Martinez and Deans gave West Virginia the 29-23 advantage heading into the locker room.
“I thought the ball movement was a lot better today than it has been, I thought our defense at times was a lot better…we didn’t settle for the three as much, we got to the foul line,” explained Carey.
The Mountaineers surrendered their lead halfway through the third quarter behind a trio of threes from Chrislyn Carr, Alexis Tucker, and Sydney Goodson.
Both teams then jabbed back and forth through the rest of the third as Rudd and Martin each nailed three’s to give West Virginia the four-point advantage, 48-44. Rudd then ended the third with a jumper to give the Mountaineers the slight two-point lead.
Both teams played a physical game while each forcing 13 turnovers as well as combining for 11 blocks and 13 steals throughout the ballgame.
The fourth quarter saw Madisen Smith come out and knock down a three before Andrayah Adams hit a three for Texas Tech as the Mountaineers still clung to their two-point lead.
With less than a minute remaining in regulation, Niblack sank a free throw to extend the West Virginia advantage to eight points before Alexis Tucker sank a three for Texas Tech and Martin sank a pair of free throws to notch the final score at 67-60.
Martin finished the day as the leader in scoring for West Virginia with 20 points which were followed by Niblack’s 15 points and Smith’s 13 points.
West Virginia will now hit the road and travel to Austin, Texas to take on the Longhorns on Monday at 8:30 p.m.