McBride's 22 Powers WVU to Win No. 13

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WVU Athletics) -- Freshman Miles McBride's season-high 22 points powered No. 17 West Virginia to a 66-54 victory over No. 22 Texas Tech tonight at the WVU Coliseum.

McBride was part of a Mountaineer bench that outscored the Red Raider reserves 41-15. Sophomore Brandon Knapper also contributed 10 points off the pine.

McBride and Knapper were the only West Virginia players to convert field goals in the second half, McBride making all of them until Knapper got an and-one to go down with 4:38 remaining to put the Mountaineers ahead 57-46.

It was McBride who came to the rescue early in the second half when Texas Tech had trimmed West Virginia's lead to four, 40-36, on Davide Moretti's layup.

Duece was able to come up with a steal and a layup to push the lead back to six, and he responded with two more on a pull-up jumper to get the lead to nine, 45-36.

Another McBride pull-up pushed the lead to 12 with 9:14 remaining. West Virginia's biggest lead was 15 on McBride's layup with 2:27 remaining.

McBride finished the game 8-for-11 from the floor and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line.

The only consistent offense West Virginia could get in the second half was the high ball screen for McBride.

"We had to lift them again and let Deuce play," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins explained. "We can't make a steady diet of that. We've got to be able to run offense and when you don't or can't pass the ball it makes it hard to run offense."

Texas Tech (10-5, 1-2) had great difficulty dealing with West Virginia's smoothing half-court defense.

The Red Raiders got plenty of looks (74) but could only get 21 of them to go down for 28.4 percent. Tech was just 6-of-28 from 3 and was beaten on the boards 46-33.

If not for loose ball handling and some more poor free throw shooting by the Mountaineers and this could have easily been a 20-point victory.

West Virginia was credited with 21 turnovers tonight – the second consecutive game it has turned the ball over at least 20 times – and it also missed 12 free throws. The Mountaineers did convert 15-of-21 from the line in the second half when better free throws shooters were on the floor.

"We threw it around too much," Huggins said. "I think we're averaging 20 turnovers in three games in the Big 12 and we're not going to continue to win turning it over 20 times a game.

"And we're not going to win by continuing to shoot 50 percent from the free throw line," he said.

Brandon KnapperMoretti was the only Red Raider to reach double figures with 16 points. Touted freshman guard Jahmi'us Ramsey was just 3-of-14 from the floor to finish with eight points.

Freshman forward Oscar Tshiebwe pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds while sophomore forward Derek Culver finished with 9 points and seven boards.

West Virginia led Texas Tech 37-31 at halftime.

"When you turn the ball over at an alarming rate you better guard," said Huggins, who is now just three wins shy of tying legendary Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp for seventh place in NCAA history with 876 victories. Tonight's win was also Huggins' 48th as a Mountaineer coach against a team ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.

The triumph before a large and boisterous sellout crowd of 14,111 boosts West Virginia's record to 13-2, 2-1 with a Tuesday night game looming against TCU at the Coliseum.

The Horned Frogs (12-3), 3-0) were victorious over Oklahoma State earlier today to remain undefeated in conference play. TCU's other league wins were against Iowa State and Kansas State.

Tuesday night's game will tip off at 9 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPNU.