LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — West Virginia coach Bob Huggins is glad he has a good bench for when his starters get in foul trouble or are having a tough game.
“That’s the good thing about this team, you know?” Huggins said. “Devin (Williams) gets in foul trouble and Elijah (Macon) answers the bell. JC (Jevon Carter) gets in foul trouble, Tarik (Phillip) plays well. Jaysean (Paige) hadn’t been playing very well, and he played pretty well today.”
Phillip scored West Virginia’s final eight points and the sixth-ranked Mountaineers ended the game on a 10-2 run to rally for an 80-76 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday, snapping a two-game losing streak.
“That shows you how resilient we can be,” Phillip said. “We knew this was a must-win for us. We had to leave everything on the floor.”
The Red Raiders (12-6, 2-5 Big 12) were up 76-72 with 1:10 remaining when Patrick hit a 3, got a layup and a free throw off a steal, and got the Mountaineers’ final points on a dunk just before the buzzer.
Phillip finished with 20 points, while Paige scored 22 and Jonathan Holton added 13 to lead the Mountaineers (16-3, 5-2).
There were 12 lead changes, the last when Patrick took over in the last minute.
Zach Smith scored a career-high 18 points and Toddrick Gotcher added 12 for Texas Tech.
“They did what they had to do to win the game,” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t. It’s a tough loss for us. Just a hard-fought game. I thought our kids played hard today.”
West Virginia got 23 points off the Red Raiders’ 17 turnovers, and the Mountaineers got 43 points from their bench.
The Red Raiders led for most of the second half until Phillip took over.
“That’s the problem with this league, there’s too many good players on every team and there’s too many good coaches,” Huggins said. “You can’t outsmart anybody. The guys that make shots and the teams that play the best that day, win.”
The Red Raiders can credit their stellar free throw performance for hanging onto the lead late. Texas Tech missed just two of 34 free throws.
The Mountaineers got 3s when they needed them, hitting on half of their 18 attempts.
Tech put together a 13-3 run — including consecutive three-point plays from Smith and C.J. Williamson — to lead the Mountaineers 43-40 at halftime.
“I think we settled in and we calmed down at that point,” Gotcher said of his team regaining the lead late in the second half. “We got into the timeout and talked to each other. . I think we made (good) adjustments.”
Williams fouled out late in the game with just five points.
CLOSE VS T25: Texas Tech’s losses against Top 25 teams in the Big 12 have been by seven points or fewer.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers lead the country in steals and forced turnovers per game, averaging 24.1 points off turnovers and 18.9 points off second-chance points.
Texas Tech: Sophomore forward Norense Odiase, who broke a bone in his foot in the win at TCU earlier this week, is expected to miss up to six weeks. With Odiase out, Matthew Temple earned his first collegiate start. The junior forward joined the Red Raiders as a walk-on. Temple had two fouls in the game’s first 33 seconds. He finished with two points.
West Virginia: hosts Kansas State on Tuesday night
Texas Tech: travels to No. 1 Oklahoma on Tuesday night