It was a fitting end to an ugly game, as West Virginia capitalized on a pair of turnovers in the final 30 seconds to avoid an upset at Texas Tech and their third straight loss.
Tarik Phillip was the hero. The 6-foot-3 junior scored eight of his 18 points in the final minute — a three, an and-one layup off of a steal and a dunk off of a turnover that came at the buzzer — as the No. 6 Mountaineers remained tied for first place in the Big 12 with an 80-76 win over Texas Tech.
A road win in league play is a road win in league play, and you’re never going to find a coach that will complain about them regardless of how poorly his team plays. But that doesn’t mean that West Virginia won’t have some things to work on this week.
The good news? They solved some of the issues with their pressure since Wednesday’s home loss to Texas, forcing 17 turnovers, which likely had a lot to do with the fact that the Mountaineers shot better than 50 percent from the floor and hit 8-for-19 from three. Should I mention that they hit 22-for-28 from the charity stripe four days after going 8-for-23 against the Longhorns?
That’s all good.
But the problem is that it still took an 8-0 run in the final minute to beat one of the Big 12’s cellar-dwellers, mostly due to the fact that WVU committed 28 fouls and sent the Red Raiders to the charity stripe for 34 free throws, of which they hit 32.