MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – Texas Tech junior Mac McClung scored a season-high 30 points but was unable to hit a last-second shot as the No. 10 Red Raiders fell 88-87 to No. 11 West Virginia on Monday at the WVU Coliseum.
Tech (11-5, 4-4 Big 12) dropped their first road game in conference play, while the Mountaineers (11-4, 4-3 Big 12) improved to 4-1 at home after Miles McBride hit the game-winning shot with three seconds remaining. The Red Raiders, who started Big 12 play with three road wins, committed only two turnovers which is a low in the Chris Beard era and finished the game shooting 46.6 percent. WVU responded offensively though, going 12-for-19 on 3-pointers and making 16 free throws.
"We're more than halfway through the season," Beard said. "It's time to start winning these games. I don't know what I can take away. What I can take away is we got out-toughed in portions of the first half. Then I thought we kind of out-toughed them in the second half of the first half. Now it comes down to the team that executes the ball the best. We didn't execute on defense down the stretch. You have to find a way to win the game when you score almost 90 points on the road."
Texas Tech will return to action against LSU at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in its final non-conference game of the regular season before hosting Oklahoma next Monday at the United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders and Mountaineers will meet again on Tuesday, Feb. 9 in Lubbock.
McClung scored a season-high for the third straight game after going for 22 against Texas, 24 on Baylor and then hitting 11 of 21 shots with four 3-pointers at WVU. His final shot of the game came as time expired but missed as the Red Raiders evened their conference record. Terrence Shannon, Jr. added 15 points and eight rebounds in the loss, while Kevin McCullar had eight rebounds and led the team with four assists. Marcus Santos-Silva added nine points, Kyler Edwards had eight and Jamarius Burton had nine points and five rebounds.
Tech trailed by as many as 10 in the first half before battling back to take the game into halftime tied at 49 and would lead by 12 multiple times in the second half. It was 75-63 in Tech's favor with 7:11 remaining on a McClung jumper before WVU pulled to within four. A Shannon layup pushed the lead to 79-71 with 5:11 on the clock but within a minute WVU had it back down to three. In an exchange of shots, Edwards made it 82-76 with a 3-pointer and a Burton jumper gave Tech an 84-79 lead with 2:44 remaining. McBride cut into the lead though with a pair of free throws and tied the game at 84 with a 3-pointer.
McBride led the Mountaineers with 24 points, six assists and seven rebounds, while Derek Culver had 10 points and nine rebounds. WVU had a 34-33 rebounding advantage in the game and overcame 12 turnovers by shooting 30-for-52 (57.7 percent) from the field.
McBride's 3-pointer with 1:36 left tied it at 84, but McClung responded with his own 3 with 1:10 remaining. Taz Sherman made a layup with 50 seconds to go and the Mountaineers got the ball back for one last chance. McBride drove the lane and made an off-balance shot over two defenders. Sherman and Jordan McCabe scored 10 points apiece for West Virginia.
"The plan was to try to get a stop," Beard said. "I think we had a one point lead at the time, so we're really not in a mode where our defense is going to dictate whether we are in a two- or three-point defense. We have to get a stop to win. It's stuff that we work on every single practice. We just couldn't get it down when we needed it the most. I thought we executed on the last play of the game. We got a nice shot as a game winner. If that shot goes in, we probably all feel a little bit different. It didn't. That's how this basketball deal works. West Virginia is a really good team. I think we have a chance to be a really good team. The story of tonight was our defense. This is not Texas Tech defense. We don't give up 90 points around here."
McClung's 30 point game was the first for a Red Raider since Jarrett Culver had 31 at Iowa State in the 2018-19 regular-season finale. Culver had two 30-point games during that season. McClung also had three assists in the game. His career-high is 38 points as a freshman while at Georgetown against Little Rock.
Tech is now 1-8 all-time at West Virginia.
Miles McBride hit a jumper with three seconds remaining to give WVU an 88-87 lead… McClung raced the ball up court but missed the final shot as the Mountaineers rallied for the comeback win.
McClung hit a 3-pointer to give Tech an 87-84 lead with 1:10 remaining in the game and give him 30 points… WVU's Taz Sherman followed with a layup to make it a one possession game.
Edwards hit a 3-pointer off an assist from Shannon to give Tech an 82-75 lead with 3:56 remaining… After a WVU response on the other end, a Shannon offensive rebound led to a Burton jumper to give Tech an 84-79 lead with 2:44 on the clock.
Tech took its first double digit lead of the game at 62-52 on a McClung 3-pointer… He had 19 points at the time before making a layup that pushed it to 64-52.
Tech took a 71-61 lead on a Burton runner in the lane with 8:23 remaining… Burton had seven points with the basket.
Down by as many as 10 in the first half, Tech went on an 8-0 run to close out it out for the 49-49 halftime score with Agbo and Edwards hitting 3-pointers and McClung making a tough layup as time expired.
Tech took its first lead of the game on the first possession of the second half with Peavy making a basket for a 41-39 lead.
McClung drilled a 3-pointer to give Tech a 54-48 lead with 15:16 on the clock… Tech was up 59-51 on an Edwards layup
Burton helped Tech chip into the WVU lead with back-to-back baskets, first a jumper and then a 3-pointer to make it 36-31 with five minutes remaining in the half.
Santos-Silva scored on Tech's first possession with a hook shot in the lane to even the game at 2-2.
Tech trailed 13-9 at the first media timeout with WVU shooting 3-for-4 on 3-pointers in the first five minutes.
A steal by McClung led to a Shannon fast break layup to cut it to 23-16 with 11:43 to play until halftime. Shannon had seven points at that point in the game.
HALFTIME REPORT: Texas Tech fought back from a 10-point deficit in the first half to tie the game at 49-all through 20 minutes. It was the first time through 16 games that Tech was tied at halftime. The Red Raiders closed out the half on an 8-0 run with Agbo hitting a 3-pointer on the first possession he got into the game and was followed by an Edwards 3-pointer. Tech tied the game with McClung making a layup in the final second of the half. Shannon led the Red Raiders with 11 points at halftime by going 4-for-9 from the field with two free throws, while McCullar led the team with seven rebounds and also had three assists. Santos-Silva added seven points, McClung finished the first half with six points and Burton had five. Nadolny had three assists for the Red Raiders who had 10 assists on 16 baskets. WVU built its lead at the 3-point line by going 6-for-10 in the first half but went cold as the half came to an end. Tech committed only two turnovers in the first half while forcing seven from the Mountaineers. McCabe led WVU with nine points at the half where he was 3-for-4 on 3-pointers.