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McClung’s hot shooting can’t overcome the West Virginia barrage

In a rare shootout for these teams, Miles McBride hit a 10 foot jumper with seconds to go to steal the win from the Red Raiders

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

With the shots falling for West Virginia like they were, I was not sure if we would even be able to make it a game down the stretch. Rarely do you see a Texas Tech offense play at as high of a level as we did last night, but it almost seems as if they took their mojo from the defensive side to produce it.

The Mountaineers shot 58% from the floor and 63% from 3pt range. No matter who you are playing, it is going to be hard to win when you’re allowing the opposing team to shoot at that high of a rate. Until late in the game, it was hard to key on any one guy for them. They were balanced scoring the ball, with all 5 starters in double figures and McNeil with 13 off the bench.

McBride took over the game late, scoring 17 of his 24 in the final 8 minutes of the contest. Coach Beard in particular was not happy with the way his team played defensively. It is pretty obvious to see what the guys will be focusing on getting ready for LSU this weekend.

In what was a back and forth game, with both teams holding decent sized leads at points, you knew it was going to come down to the last few possessions. Tech held their own on the offensive end, especially having to play catch up in the first 20 minutes to bring it back even right before halftime. McClung was on fire at times, going off for 30 on 11-21 shooting from the field.

Shannon provided 15 off of the bench, but then scoring took a dip from there. Burton and Silva both had 9, and Edwards finished with 8, but there was never a 3rd guy behind our top 2 scorers who seemed confident enough to go and get their own points. I truly believe Kyler needs to be that guy, but man he has struggled shooting the ball this year. If he can figure out that part out about his game, it would send our team to the next level in my eye.

A promising note to see was both Nadolny and Agbo getting some minutes. Nadolny in particular played really well, providing 16 good minutes of poised and controlled action. Hopefully moving forward, both of these guys along with Tyreek Smith will be able to provide on the back end of conference play when we are in need of a spark somewhere.

All around, I think we played well against a tough team on the road. West Virginia shot an insane percentage from the floor and 3pt range, making it hard to keep up. Though we shot the ball decently, McClung and Shannon are going to need consistent help offensively from 1-2 more guys for us to really excel moving forward.

The guys head to Baton Rouge Saturday for an interesting matchup with a good LSU squad. The team will need to enjoy some days off in between games, while in February there is a stretch of 6 games in a 14 day span due to the schedule realignment from Covid.

The Red Raiders now sit at 4-4 in conference play, with two losses coming on last second shots to two top 11 opponents. If Tech can figure out a way to close out all of these games that have been so close, they would be able to squarely position themselves behind Baylor in the conference. It doesn’t get any easier when a hot Oklahoma squad comes to Lubbock next Monday when conference play resumes following the Big 12-SEC matchup this weekend.