Seven. Straight. Conference. Losses.
There’s no better way to put it for the Red Raiders other than it’s been a rough start to conference play. With doubts looming on the NCAA Tournament for the Red Raiders, they will look to get their first conference win at home against West Virginia. A win against the Mountaineers could surely gain some confidence for the Red Raiders after getting their first conference win under their belt. The Mountaineers are a tough-nosed team so it won’t be easy. This is vitally important from where Texas Tech stands at this point of the season to try and get this win.
Where: United Supermarkets Arena (Lubbock, Texas)
When: 6:00 P.M. CST
Odds: Texas Tech -3.5, O/U 139.5
About West Virginia
Three players to watch
The senior guard from Dallas, Texas gives a lot of offense to the Mountaineers. In the last two games, Johnson has been the leading scorer for the Mountaineers putting up scoring performances of 22 and 20-point games against Texas and TCU. Johnson is averaging about 11 points per game and is also averaging a little over three assists per game as well. If West Virginia looks to steal this road game look out for Johnson to be a key part of it.
The senior forward is the Mountaineers’ leading scorer this year averaging about 13 points per game with about six rebounds per game as well. Mitchell was a previous transfer from Texas who played against the Red Raiders in Lubbock once last season putting up 6 points and shooting 75% from the field in that game. So this won’t be a new environment for Mitchell as he tries to lead his team on the road in another matchup against Texas Tech.
The senior guard and three-time transfer has played really well for the Mountaineers this season and is having the best season of his career. Stevenson is averaging 13 points per game and is shooting a remarkable 45% from the field and 37% from the three-point line. He may not be the best defender for the Mountaineers but he makes up for it with his efficiency on the offensive end. The Mountaineers really have an impressive backcourt between Stevenson and Johnson so the Red Raiders will have their hands full the whole night trying to neutralize the two senior guards.
What They’re Good At
Getting to the free-throw line: West Virginia likes to get to the charity stripe this season a lot. Because of this, the Red Raiders will have to defend well without fouling because the Mountaineers are getting to the free-throw line almost 48% of the time in conference play. Being able to get to the line could be the difference at the end of tough-fought games.
Offensive rebounding: West Virginia is 41st in the nation in OREB% and is grabbing about 35% of offensive rebounds in conference. Keeping them off the glass will be really important for the Red Raiders to keep extra possessions away from the Mountaineers which usually leads to 2nd chance points. The frontcourt for the Red Raiders must be ready to rebound.
Limiting Turnovers: The Mountaineers know how to keep themselves out of harm’s way with turnovers. Even though they turn it over quite a bit they are 6th in the conference when it comes to that area. Meaning that Texas Tech will need to cause some chaos for the Mountaineers to turn it over.
Final thought: The Red Raiders come into this game with their backs against the wall, and will be looking to find any way possible to get their first conference win. It will be a tough, highly-contested game for both sides but this is a must-win game for the Red Raiders so I feel they will pull away to get their first conference win with the home crowd behind them. I feel the environment will be too much for the Mountaineers. I am not completely confident in the win but I have to go with my gut so the Red Raiders will find a way to pull this game out.