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March 13, 2013
The third time was the charm for Texas Tech as the Red Raiders used a put-back with 0.4 seconds remaining to end West Virginia's season 71 to 69 in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament Wednesday night.
he Mountaineers had beaten the Red Raiders in both previous meetings this season, but trailed by as many as 14-points in the first half before taking a lead with less than ten minutes remaining in the second half. The two teams then traded blows throughout the rest of the game with the Red Raiders proving the last on an uncontested put-back.
West Virginia was led in scoring by Terry Henderson with 12 points, while Aaric Murray provided 11 off the bench. The Red Raiders got 18 from Jaye Crockett and double figures from four others.
Ty Nurse opened the scoring with a pair of three-pointers to give Texas Tech the early advantage and the Red Raiders added a free-throw on top to give them a touchdown spot on the Mountaineers in the first three minutes of the game.
West Virginia got on the board on a nice entry pass into Deniz Kilicli, who would finish the play with a dunk, but on the other end a tip-back by Jaye Crockett put the game back out to an early seven-point deficit for the Mountaineers.
Nurse would continue his hot streak hitting again from behind the three point line, and the Red Raiders would extend their lead to 16-4 by the 13:31 mark forcing a timeout from Bob Huggins.
Out of the timeout, Terry Henderson would get a look from behind the arc and connect giving the Mountaineers a much needed basket. After an Eron Harris three-pointer and Keaton Miles two, the lead was at 18-12 Texas Tech as the Mountaineers responded with more energy out of the timeout.
But the Red Raiders would get another clean look from behind the arc, and several more baskets to push the advantage out to 26-14 with a little under eight minutes in the half.
The Red Raiders were fueled on the offensive end by Josh Gray, who was able to get the ball to his teammates and keep Texas Tech ahead 32-22 with four minutes left in the half. And after the Mountaineers finally cut the lead down to eight points, they didn't locate Crockett who connected on another three-pointer for Texas Tech to push the lead back into double-digits.
West Virginia was able to whittle the lead back to single marks after stepping up on the defensive end and hitting free throws to put the score at 35-32 despite playing very poorly for much of the first half and heading into the break the Mountaineers would trail by five.
The Red Raiders out rebounded the Mountaineers 17-10 at halftime, but an offensive rebound on West Virginia's first possession led to a Matt Humphrey put back cut the lead to 37-34, but Texas Tech would respond with a three-point play.
Two consecutive baskets including a breakout dunk by Humphrey off a steal put the Mountaineers within only a basket and after another Tech score, Humphrey struck again with a three to make the lead 42-41 at 16:56 left in the half.
But a technical foul was called on Humphrey to give the Red Raiders a three-point lead after the free throws and then another free throw and a turnover for a fast break layup saw the lead balloon back out to six points.
Henderson would score five consecutive points on an uncontested fast-break layup and a three-point play to draw the game within a bucket at 50-48 around the 12:20 mark and Kilicli would tie the game up on a gliding layup.
The two teams would exchange a series of empty possessions, until the Red Raiders would get a bail out on a shot at the end of the shot clock that was flushed home on the put back to give Texas Tech the lead back in the game. Murray would respond with two consecutive baskets to give West Virginia its first lead of the game, but Crockett would respond with a close basket to tie it back up.
West Virginia held a two-point lead, but allowed yet another wide open three-pointer to push the Red Raiders back out front as the Mountaineers failed to recognize the shooter. And out of the ensuing timeout, Texas Tech would increase the advantage to three-points but Murray would once again respond to cut it to one point.
The two-teams would then trade three-pointers with Crockett and Murray each hitting from the outside, to give the junior big-man 11-points off the bench. West Virginia got an open look for Jabarie Hinds once they got the ball inside to Kilicli he was able to find the sophomore guard for a three and the lead at 66-64 with less than three minutes to go.
The game would continue to see-saw during the next couple stretches, with Tech tying it up and then Kilicli giving the Mountaineers a one-point lead. Then on the defensive end, Murray made another play at the rim blocking a shot at the goal and protecting the 67-66 lead.
After trading free-throws, Texas Tech took the lead back at 69-68 on a defensive breakdown that allowed a wide open Dejan Kravic basket under the rim, but he missed the free throw with under a minute left in the game.
Kilicli was fouled trying to secure a defensive rebound, and went to the line hitting one of two to tie the game at 69-all with 13 seconds remaining in the game.
And after a missed shot on the final possession, the Red Raiders put back the rebound to win the game with only 0.4 seconds left and the desperation heave failed to connect.
West Virginia NEWS