A huge, top-25 showdown Monday night in the Big 12 conference will feature the 13th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders and the 15th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown beginning at 9 pm EST. Currently, the Mountaineers are favored by 2.5-points while the total stands at 137-points, up from 135.5-points at the opening.
The Red Raiders halted a 3-game win streak in their last time out as they fell victim to the 2nd-ranked Baylor Bears at home last Saturday as Texas Tech was stifled all game long offensively in shooting just 25% as a team in addition to converting on 6 of 24 attempts from deep as leading scorer Mac McClung, despite leading with 24 points, struggled in going 4-11 from long-range while committing 5 of the team's 20 turnovers. And despite forcing 16 turnovers while allowing just 7 points from Baylor's star Jared Butler, Baylor was able to connect on 42% of their shots, overall, to outlast Texas Tech in the end. The Red Raiders halted a 2-game win streak versus the number failing to cover as 4-point dogs and continues to struggle on the year accumulating a record of 2-8 ATS in their last 10.
The Mountaineers have been up and down in their last 6 outings in winning 3 of those contests; However, they enter this contest on a winning note after atoning for a January 9th at home versus the highly-ranked Texas Longhorns to pick up a win over the Kansas State Wildcats on the road Saturday after a 2-week hiatus due to covid-19. Their defense gave up only 17 points in the 1st half to the Wildcats while surrendering just 30% for the contest while the offense shot well enough at 44% to take the win. The Mountaineers were also able to cover as 11-point favorites, yet have struggled in going 3-4 ATS in their last 7 games.
These teams have gone back and forth in terms of wins and losses in recent matchups with both winning 5 of their last 10 outright. However, it should be mentioned that the Mountaineers have won 3 of the last 4 at WVU Coliseum. Furthermore, West Virginia is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games versus Texas Tech, including going 3-1 ATS in their last 4 at home.
Red Raiders offense dismal versus BearsTexas Tech has had issues with consistency on the offensive end all season in shooting just 43% as a team along with 32% from deep. However, versus a tough Baylor defense, they were much worse making only 22 of their 62 shots while going just 25% from long-range. Furthermore, their inability to protect the ball was evident as they committed 20 turnovers, 14 by McClung (16 ppg), Marcus Santos-Silva (9 ppg, 7 rebs), along with Kyler Edwards (10 ppg, 6 rebs).
It’s American Heart Month, and Caprock Cardiovascular is ready to dish out some donations to the American Heart Association for every @TexasTechMBB & @LadyRaiderWBB assist during February!#WreckEm pic.twitter.com/oMRxoCKSFf— Texas Tech Red Raiders (@TechAthletics) January 23, 2021
Nonetheless, McClung led the team with 24 points, his 2nd-straight game with 20+ points while guard Kevin McCullar (11 ppg, 7 rebs) was the only other double-digit performer with 10 points and 10 boards, his 2nd double-double in 3 games. Edwards (10 ppg, 5 rebs) posted single-digits for the 3rd time in 4 outings with 7 points on 3-8 shooting (1-5 3FG).
And while the defense for the Red Raiders have been solid throughout the year in addition to holding the 2nd-ranked Bears to only 42% shooting, it was the offense that failed them in this contest. Moving forward, Texas Tech must now rebound versus a Mountaineers team that is also know for its grittiness on the defensive end of the floor. However, it should be pointed out that Texas Tech has not only put up an average of 77 points per in their last 4 outings versus their conference foe, but is coming off an 89-point outburst at home in their last meeting January of last year.
Mountaineers put up only 69 points in winAnd while the offense shot only 44% as a team, 18 from leading scorer Miles McBride (15 ppg) along with 10 from Taz Sherman (12 ppg) proved to be the catalyst in West Virginia atoning for a 2-point home loss to the Longhorns and getting the win. Important to add that they each combined for a total of 6 3-pointers in the contest along with 6 of the team's 13 steals. For the season, the Mountaineers have continued to build their success on a strong, aggressive defense while allowing their play on this end of the court to translate in to fast break opportunities and/or more efficient transition looks at the basket.
McBride has certainly thrived in this type of offense as he is making 45% of his shots both from the field as well as from the arc this season while Sherman is also connecting on a solid 39% from long-range for the Mountaineers. Six foot 10 forward Derek Culver (13 ppg, 10 rebs), who has been up and down as of late, continues to be a threat in shooting 47% while collecting 2 double-doubles in his last 3 starts, including posting 16 in his last outing versus the Red Raiders making 14 of 16 shots from the free-throw line. McBride and Sherman also posted double-figures in the contest going a combined 6-14 FG (2-6 3FG) for 10 and 11 points, respectively, with the former recording 3 steals.
Stats & Trends
- Red Raiders are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Red Raiders are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Red Raiders are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Mountaineers are 25-9 ATS in their last 34 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Mountaineers are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
The Mountaineers have covered versus the Red Raiders in 3 of their last 4 outings at WVU Coliseum. The Red Raiders have proven themselves to be a legit team in the Big 12 conference; However, they have had problems when facing upper echelon teams within the conference as was evident in losses versus Texas, Kansas, as well as from an up and coming Oklahoma State Cowboys squad.
Also, Texas Tech has only covered in 5 of their last 14 road matchups, including in just 5 of their last 12 conference games. In all, I expect them to fall against the number in this contest as well as the home team will pull away due to solid defense.