They may have needed two overtime periods, but the Texas Tech Red Raiders overcame a 17-point WVU lead to hand the Mountaineers a heartbreaking 69-68 loss in Lubbock on Wednesday.
The Mountaineers led the Red Raiders by four points with just 20 seconds left in double-overtime, but WVU’s Isis Beh fouled Rhyle McKinney on a 3-pointer, setting up three shots from the foul line. McKinney made all three, then WVU turned the ball over after a mix-up at halfcourt led to a heldball whistle with the possession arrow pointing toward Texas Tech. The Red Raiders had six seconds to score.
JJ Quinerly, who was credited with the turnover, nearly saved the game for WVU as she intercepted the inbound pass under the Texas Tech basket. It all went bad, though, as she attempted to pass the ball as she bumped into a teammate.
That pass went straight to McKinney, who converted the wide-open layup to put her team ahead by a point.
West Virginia had three seconds to take the lead back in the final period. Dawn Plitzuweit drew up a play for Quinerly, who had a game-high 21 points, but the sophomore guard was unable to make the game-winning shot despite an open look at the basket.
The Red Raiders snapped a 12-game losing streak to West Virginia after wiping away a 13-point halftime deficit. That streak dated back to 2017.
McKinney’s five points in the final seconds brought her total to 13, tying Bre’Amber Scott for the Red Raiders’ high. Scott also led Texas Tech with seven rebounds.
Katie Ferrell and Jazmaine Lewis also added double figures, each chipping in 11 points. Lewis did so with a perfect shooting performance, making all five of her field goal attempts.
Madisen Smith recorded her first double-double of the season, logging 11 points and 10 rebounds from the guard position. Kyah Watson matched her scoring output but edged her on the glass with 12 rebounds.
Texas Tech deals West Virginia a damaging blow to its NCAA Tournament prospects after the Mountaineers snuck into the latest bracketology projections as the last team in the field. The Mountaineers return home for their next two games, starting with a Saturday clash against Kansas State on Saturday.