MORGANTOWN, WV — Much of West Virginia University’s success this season has hinged on its ability to force turnovers, with the Mountaineers averaging nearly 25 turnovers ahead of Tuesday’s matchup against Texas Tech at the WVU Coliseum. He is leading the major college basketball world in forcing.
That side was on display again against the Red Raiders, but West Virginia won 82-59 mainly on the strength of their offense.
The Mountaineers (20-2, 9-2) shot 56 percent through the third quarter and made 28 of 44 field goal attempts, snapping their seventh straight win.
West Virginia shot over 50 percent in each of the first three quarters, including a dominant third period when they made 11 of 16, as the Mountaineers trailed by 12 points at halftime. He extended his lead and built a 70-38 advantage by the fourth frame.
“We weren’t as adjusted as we should have been, but we still played OK and started to settle down in the second quarter,” WVU head coach Mark Kellogg said. ”
JJ Cunally scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the third quarter, and Kylie Blacksten accounted for all but two of her 10 points in the quarter.
The duo scored the first six points after halftime, including consecutive baskets by Blacksten that put Texas Tech (16-8, 5-6) down 46-28 1:17 into the third quarter. Ta.
“We came out with more intensity and energy in the third quarter, which made us a better game offensively and defensively,” Kunally said.
Bailey Maupin scored on a second chance for the Red Raiders to get their first points of the second half, and Blacksten answered with a layup to start WVU’s eight-game scoring streak. Kaia Watson, Jordan Harrison and Lauren Fields were responsible for the other baskets during this period, and the Mountaineers led 54-30 through the half.
Late in the third set, Quinerly scored nine straight WVU points in a 9-2 Mountaineers run. During that stretch, the guard made a 3-pointer, two driving layups and two free throws.
“The third quarter was terrible,” Texas Tech head coach Krista Gerlich said. “We fought pretty well in the first half, even though we made some big mistakes, passed the ball over more than we should have, and missed some layups. You can’t just come out and turn the basketball over. suffered a complete meltdown and didn’t have enough strength to turn it around.”
Watson had seven points and four rebounds for the Mountaineers in the first quarter, which ended with WVU leading 17-11.
“The coaching staff and teammates have a lot of confidence in me,” Watson said.
The first two field goals of the second quarter were made by Tavy Diggs, the second of which gave the Mountaineers their first double-digit lead of the game at 21-11.
Texas Tech scored six straight points just before the midway point of the second quarter, ending with a trey by Lyle McKinney, bringing the visiting team within 25-21.
But starting with Jordan Harrison’s layup 4:46 before halftime, the Mountaineers outscored the Red Raiders 15-7 the rest of the first half and took a 40-28 lead into the break.
Thirty-two of the Mountaineers’ 44 paint points came in the first half, and WVU held a 15-6 advantage in points from turnovers throughout the second quarter.
Quinerly finished with a game-high point total on 9-of-14 shooting.
“She was talented and did the JJ thing,” Kellogg said.
Watson added 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, Fields had 11 points and Blacksten became the fourth double-digit scorer in the win.
Harrison committed 24 of the Mountaineers’ 39 turnovers and had seven points, six assists and a game-best five steals.
The Mountaineers had 23 fast break points to the Red Raiders’ four points.
All but two of WVU’s points came from inside the paint (48), threes (21) or free throws (11).
“The goal is always the rim, the free throw and the three,” Kellogg said. “There are times when you can get mid-range, but if you don’t, keep doing it. We were able to move the ball a little bit better through our passes tonight. 16 assists might be fewer than we would have liked.” No, but it’s better than before.”
Jasmine Shavers had 16 points and Jordyn Merritt had 13 points for Texas Tech, which defeated the Mountaineers 38-26.
With the result, the Mountaineers became the fastest team to win 20 games, matching the feat accomplished by the 1991-92 and 2009-10 teams.
“These players fit my personality,” Kellogg said. “It was a wonderful marriage.”