It was a good two-day ride for the Red Raiders as they lost in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament to the West Virginia Mountaineers by a score of 66-63. The game was back and forth the entire time and a couple of bounces the other way would have changed the outcome of the game.
The two words that will be remembered throughout time and history on what could have been are Free Throws. The Red Raiders only shot 11-21 from the charity stripe, a 52% mark. In a three-point loss, if you even shoot 71% from the line instead, you win the game. This will be something the team needs to work on leading up to the NCAA tournament next week. It especially hurt that Keenan Evans, the best free-throw shooter on the team, only shot 3-8 from the line in the game.
Daxter Miles Jr. and Jevon Carter led the team Miles had a great game tonight, piling up 22 points, and shot 5-9 from behind the arc. Miles hit big shot after big shot, leading this team to a win. The Mountaineers as a team shot 50% from the three-point line, a great percentage. Miles also played a very turnover-efficient game, only having 1 turnover the entire game. Carter had 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks in the game. He started off a little shaky, getting two quick fouls, but he really came on in the second half to lift West Virginia to victory.
In a game where the Red Raiders won the rebounding and assist battle, and also had only 10 turnovers, it is curious to the onlooker on how exactly we lost this game. It is plain and simple, free throws and clutch moments. These areas will be crucial to work on in the coming week, as the real tests begin next week in the NCAA tournament. I think the Red Raiders will end up getting a 4 seed, the highest seed since the 1996 season that resulted in a Sweet Sixteen appearance for the team. What do you think about the game tonight? What seed do you think the team will get in the NCAA Tournament? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!