MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia got season-high scoring performances from Jevon Carter
and Elijah Macon
to outlast game Texas Tech 83-74 in double overtime in Saturday afternoon basketball here at the WVU Coliseum today.
Texas Tech (17-10, 5-9), shooting hotter than the rare mid-February 65 degree temperatures outside, got a difficult, contested 3-point shot from Keenan Evans with five seconds left to tie the game at 64 in regulation.
“They seemingly made every shot for a while,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.
Following a West Virginia timeout, Carter’s running jumper near the elbow drew the back of the iron to send the game into overtime - West Virginia’s second in as many games and its fourth this year.
The Mountaineers, which didn’t convert a field goal during the final 5:42 of regulation, needed all six free throws they made in the first overtime to extend the game to a second extra session.
In the second overtime, Carter snapped West Virginia’s 10-minute field goal drought with a driving layup off the opening tip. Macon, who scored 17 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, got a nifty baseline basket off the glass.
Then, Daxter Miles Jr.
made the play of the game when he jumped above everyone to tip in Carter’s miss with his left hand.
Miles got another massive put-back with 1:42 to go when he dunked Adrian’s close one that wouldn’t go down.
“If we’re going to play three guards he’s got to help us get rebounds - which he did today thank goodness,” said Huggins.
This time, West Virginia made its free throws down the stretch - all four coming from Tarik Phillip
- to salt away its first overtime victory this year.
“We make it hard,” Huggins said.
West Virginia, just 2-6 this year in games decided by seven points or less, once again wasn’t able to close this one out in regulation despite leading by six with 2:44 to go.
Two big missed free throws by Miles Jr. with 2:10 left opened the door for Tech to score a couple of quick baskets and put the pressure back on the Mountaineers. Another miss at the line, this one by Carter with 27 seconds left and West Virginia leading by three, giving Tech an opportunity to tie it.
The Red Raiders couldn’t miss in regulation, shooting 54.5 percent in the first half and then 64.5 percent in the second. But in the two overtime periods Tech hit just two of 15 and missed all four of its 3-point field goal tries.
Guard Daxter Miles Jr.
made two critical put-back baskets in the second overtime to help West Virginia to its first overtime victory this season. All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks photo
Carter led the Mountaineers with 24 points, hitting eight of 16 from the floor and adding five of eight from the line. His impressive stat line also included seven rebounds, a couple of assists and two steals.
Macon easily played his best game of the year, scoring 17 (one shy of his career high 18 scored against Stetson in 2015) while grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds, a couple key ones coming at the defensive end in overtime.
“That was the Elijah Macon
we kind of all expected to see,” Huggins said. “Seventeen points, 12 rebounds is a good night. The biggest thing is his attitude has been terrific. He listens, he’s trying to do what we ask him to do. He’s been great with (freshman center Sagaba Konate
) trying to help Sags understand a little better. I can’t say enough good things about Elijah.”
During one stretch in the second half, Macon scored three straight times coming down the floor to help WVU build a seven-point lead.
Texas Tech got a game-high 28 from Evans and 17 from Niem Stevenson - all of his coming in the first half.
The Red Raiders’ biggest lead was five, 33-28, with 50 seconds left in the first half.
Today’s game, played before 14,150, took more than two and a half hours to finish. Texas Tech defeated West Virginia, 77-76, in overtime in Lubbock back on January 3.
“I’m wore out,” Huggins admitted afterward.
West Virginia (21-6, 9-5) moves into a tie with Baylor for second in the Big 12 standings after Kansas knocked off the Bears, 67-65, in Waco earlier today.
WVU has a quick turnaround facing Texas in an ESPN Big Monday tilt at 9 p.m.