Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

February 2, 2013

Mountaineers ramble past Red Raiders

LUBBOCK, Texas — Freshman Eron Harris scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half to lead West Virginia over Texas Tech 77-61 on Saturday.

Harris hit 3 of 5 3-pointers in the second half to spark West Virginia after missing all four tries from beyond the arc in the first half.

Aaric Murray added 12 points for the Mountaineers (10-11, 3-5), who were 10 of 18 on 3-point attempts.

West Virginia never trailed but the Red Raiders kept it close briefly in the second half.

Ty Nurse scored 14 points for Texas Tech (9-10, 2-6) and Jaye Crockett added 13.   

After outrebounding the Red Raiders 10-2 early in the game, West Virginia finished with 24 to Texas Tech’s 22.

Turnovers, especially in the second half, hurt the Red Raiders as the Mountaineers got 27 points off Texas Tech’s 22 turnovers.

West Virginia came into the game hitting only 29 percent on 3-pointers. The Mountaineers made half of their 12 attempts in the first half and four of six tries after the break, with Harris getting three of those.

In the second half, the Mountaineers scored six straight points on a 3-pointer by Harris, a free throw from Juwan Staten and a steal and a dunk by Staten on the ensuing possession to go up 48-38 with about 13 minutes remaining.

Texas Tech kept clawing back, using a 7-3 run that included a layup by Devan Kravic and a field goal by Jordan Tolbert.

The two teams didn’t make a field goal in the next few minutes but free throws were plentiful — 12 by the two teams. Nurse, who hadn’t shot a free throw all year, hit two of his six Saturday during the stretch.

The Mountaineers pulled away for good when Harris and Gary Browne hit 3s, and Dominique Rutledge and Staten each got a field goal during a 10-0 run to make it 69-55, while Texas Tech committed four straight turnovers.

Harris more than doubled his per game scoring average coming into the game (7.4 points).

At first it looked like West Virginia was going to run away with it. The Red Raiders didn’t get a rebound until more than six minutes had elapsed and had just one field goal and two free throws to the Mountaineers’ 13 points.

Then Crockett came off the bench. He got that first rebound, hit a 3, slammed down a dunk and hit two free throws to get the Red Raiders back in it, 16-11. West Virginia responded by going to the 3, getting one each from Kevin Noreen and Browne, and two from Terry Henderson to keep pace with the awakened Red Raiders.

Texas Tech pulled within 34-31 at halftime when Nurse nailed a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left.

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