On Tuesday, the number 7 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers went into Lubbock, Texas to face off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Mountaineers shot their lowest percentage from the line, with making only 13 of their 24 free throws. The 54% free throw rate is a season low for the Mountaineers. The game went into overtime and the Mountaineers had a 2-point lead, with 7 seconds left; when Red Raiders Anthony Livingston drained a 3-Point jumper, sealing the 77-76 victory for the home team.
Press Virginia heads back to Morgantown to face-off against the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday. The Horned Frogs are 12-2, a record identical to that of the Mountaineers. West Virginia is 9-0 all-time against the Horned Frogs since the Mountaineers first season in the Big 12. Will the Horned Frogs be able to turn the tide and get their first win against the never-ending press that West Virginia exhibits?
TCU seeks revenge
West Virginia is seeking it’s 9th home victory in a row. Senior Tarik Philip leads the team in 3-point percentage, at 50 % Phillip is a threat from the arch, and if left open, will destroy his opponents from downtown. Shooting eight percent better in Morgantown, Phillip has the opportunity to tack on another win for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia is the national leader in steals per game leading the pack averaging over 13 steals per contest. Third-ranked nationally, in steals and team leader Jevon Carter, records over three steals a game. Another player the Frogs need to keep under control is senior forward, and Morgantown native, Nathan Adrian. Adrian recorded his first career double-double in the season opener; he accounts for nearly 6.5 rebounds a game. If the Frogs don’t keep Adrian in check, he will get hot, and when Nate gets hot, he stays hot.
The last time the Frogs were in the WVU Coliseum they were embarrassed 73-42, with Bob Huggins‘ incomparable depth, his bench scored half of the Mountaineers tallies. with the Frogs coming off an impressive 60-57 win against the Oklahoma Sooners. The Horned Frogs will have to figure out a way to not only overcome the press but also how to tune out the loud and rowdy Mountaineer fans; who create a very tough environment for visiting teams.
The Mountaineers are favored to win this game, however, after their terrible free throw shooting in Lubbock on Tuesday. If they do not fix their problems at the line, the Horned Frogs could walk away with a W.TCU has nearly a 70% free throw rate, compared to the Mountaineer’s 64%, the mountaineers need to have a strong performance to seal the victory.