Texas Tech ends West Vir­ginia’s win­ning streak at 15

No. 8 Red Raiders top No. 2 Moun­taineers

The Buffalo News - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL -

LUBBOCK, Tex. – Eighth-ranked Texas Tech ended the long­est win­ning streak in the coun­try and cre­ated a four-way tie atop the Big 12 Con­fer­ence on Satur­day.

Niem Steven­son’s free throws with 2:06 left snapped a 65-65 tie and Keenan Evans’ lean­ing jumper in the fi­nal minute sealed a 72-71 vic­tory over No. 2 West Vir­ginia at United Su­per­mar­kets Arena.

Both teams are 15-2 over­all and 4-1 in the con­fer­ence, but it’s the Red Raiders that came away with a re­sult that could boost them fur­ther up the new rank­ings on Mon­day. They over­came an 11-point sec­ond-half deficit by con­vert­ing 24-of-28 foul shots and com­mit­ting only 13 turnovers against the Moun­taineers’ with­er­ing pres­sure de­fense.

Evans scored 20 points to lead Texas Tech, while Bran­done Fran­cis came off the bench to add 17, far above his 4.8 points per game av­er­age. Fran­cis hit 5 of 6 shots from the floor and 3-of4 from the 3-point line.

Jevon Carter poured in a game-high 28 points for West Vir­ginia, which had won 15 straight games dat­ing back to a sea­son-open­ing de­feat against Texas A&M in Ger­many. Esa Ah­mad, play­ing his first game of the sea­son af­ter be­com­ing aca­dem­i­cally el­i­gi­ble, chipped in 18 points in a re­serve role.

Carter sank a 3-pointer with 0.8 sec­onds re­main­ing to draw the Moun­taineers within a point, but the Red Raiders in­bounded the ball and ran out the clock.

West Vir­ginia con­trolled most of the first half be­hind its press­ing de­fense and 3-point shooting. The Moun­taineers raced out to a 15-6 lead, with Ah­mad fin­ish­ing a 10-0 spurt by sink­ing an 11-foot jumper at the 14:39 mark.

Texas Tech re­sponded with a 12-2 run to grab an 18-17 lead with 8:13 re­main­ing in the half when Zhaire Smith con­verte­dathree-point­play.Thegame went back and forth for about the next 5ø min­utes un­til West Vir­ginia made an­other run to end the half.

Carter drained a long 3 to start a 10-2 spurt and then ended it by drilling a 14-footer with seven sec­onds left, push­ing the Moun­taineers to a 38-31 ad­van­tage at the half.

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