The WVU basketball team will be playing in its third consecutive Big 12 title game. The accomplishment was set off by beating Texas Tech in the semifinals.
The Mountaineers beat the Red Raiders, 66-63. The thrilling game was decided in the final minutes. West Virginia started slow but recovered to make things interesting by the end of the first half.
West Virginia led, 27-26, at the end of the first half. The Mountaineers played a solid all-around game. Leading the scoring for the WVU basketball team was Daxter Miles with 22 points. Fellow senior Jevon Carter scored 17 points.
The Mountaineers received a better performance from Sagaba Konate against Texas Tech. He struggled and sat the bench for a majority of the game against Baylor in the quarterfinals. Konate rose up and scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked three shots.
The Mountaineers took care of the ball, only turning it over nine times. The defense forced 10 turnovers and created five steals with Miles and Esa Ahmad each getting two steals. Carter didn’t have any steals, which is uncharacteristic, but he blocked a pair of shots.
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For the Red Raiders, Jarrett Culver scored 16 points and Keenan Evans scored 13 points. Texas Tech also out rebounded the Mountaineers, 38-32. Justin Gray had seven boards for Tech and Wesley Harris had seven rebounds for the WVU basketball team.
Both West Virginia and Texas Tech shot 50 percent from behind-the-arc in the first half, but the Red Raiders struggled with the deep ball in the second half. They only made 2 of 7 3-pointers, but the Mountaineers stayed strong and converted 6 of 12 down the stretch which definitely made the difference.
West Virginia now plays Kansas in the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks dominated rival Kansas State in the other semifinal tilt on Friday. Leading the Jayhawks against KSU was Malik Newman with 22 points.
The Mountaineers will be looking to knock off Kansas for the first time this season. With the game being played in Kansas City, it will likely be a tough road environment for the Mountaineers.