MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — No. 22 Texas Tech lost its second straight game Saturday, falling to No. 17 West Virginia 66-54.
The Red Raiders slipped to 1-2 in Big 12 play with the loss.
West Virginia is a physical team that thrives at defense and rebounding. It put both of those traits to use in the win. Texas Tech struggled to get good looks against the Mountaineer defense, shooting just 28.6 percent from the field.
Texas Tech also predictably struggled on the glass against the Mountaineers. West Virginia’s pair of big men Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe are both elite rebounders, and they helped West Virginia control the glass 44-33. Tshiebwe had 17 rebounds alone.
West Virginia has one of the best perimeter defenses in the nation, allowing just 23.5 percent of 3s against them to go in, but that did not stop the Red Raiders from shooting.
The Red Raiders hoisted 28 3s, but made just six. Davide Moretti kept Texas Tech in the game with his 3-point shooting early, knocking down three 3s in the game’s first 10 minutes. He had a team-high 16 points.
Texas Tech was missing one of its key players as Terrence Shannon did not appear in the game. Shannon’s length and athleticism could have made a significant impact against a West Virginia team that plays up-tempo and well inside. ESPN’s broadcast said Shannon missed the game with a back strain.
Without Shannon, Chris Beard opened up his rotation. He’d mostly gone with six players since conference play began, but players like Russell Tchewa and Clarence Nadolny got rare minutes in Morgantown. Chris Clarke took Shannon’s spot in the starting lineup
Texas Tech has now lost both of its Big 12 games to ranked opponents after demolishing Oklahoma State. The conference is littered with talented teams, and the Red Raiders will have to win some of those games to finish near the top of the conference.
The schedule does get easier for Texas Tech in the immediate future. It next heads to Manhattan to take on Kansas State on Tuesday night.