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No. 11 Texas Tech holds off West Virginia 62-59

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) No. 11 Texas Tech started the Big 12 season on a positive note.

Jarrett Culver led the way.

Culver scored each of his 18 points in the second half, and Texas Tech overcame some early shooting troubles to beat West Virginia 62-59 in their conference opener Wednesday night.

''We just stuck in there and gritted it out,'' Culver said.

Each of Texas Tech's previous wins came by double digits. The Red Raiders had to scrape and claw to take their first game of the season on an opponent's court.

''I'm just really happy for our players,'' coach Chris Beard said. ''The Big 12 is like an 18-round fight, so our objective is just to give ourselves a chance every night, and I thought our guys did.

''I think we won the game with our ball-handling. We only had three turnovers in the second half. We made them turn it over a little bit more than normal, and then we took care of the ball in the second half. I thought that's where the basketball game was won or lost.''

Matt Mooney added 14 points and Davide Moretti scored 12 for Texas Tech (12-1, 1-0).

Lamont West led West Virginia (8-5, 0-1) with 22 points, and fellow reserve Derek Culver finished with 12.

Texas Tech struggled both in scoring and rebounding, and Culver and Tariq Owens each picked up three fouls in the first half. But West Virginia couldn't take advantage.

With leading scorer Esa Ahmad having an off night and second-leading scorer Sabaga Konate sitting out his fourth straight game with a knee injury, the Mountaineers also couldn't get much offense going. Ahmad made his only field goal with nine minutes left in the game and finished with six points.

The Mountaineers outrebounded Texas Tech 41-31 but finished with 22 turnovers. It was the fourth time this season that West Virginia surpassed 20 turnovers.

''We are very charitable,'' coach Bob Huggins said. ''People struggle, we throw them the ball, make it easier for them.''

Culver came out determined after halftime, converting a pair of layups in the first four minutes as Texas Tech built its largest lead, 33-24.

''He played like a veteran tonight,'' Beard said. ''That's what we expect.''

Moretti's 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining put Texas Tech ahead for good, 55-54. Culver scored six points in the final 41 seconds, and Moretti made one of two free throws with 3.3 seconds left for the final margin.

After Moretti missed the second free throw, West Virginia's Brandon Knapper tossed up a 3-pointer near midcourt that hit the top of the backboard and bounced away.

BIG PICTURE

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders won despite shooting a season-low 38.2 percent, including 29 percent in the first half.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers have had trouble making baskets all season and not much worked against the nation's second-stingiest defense. West Virginia was held to its third-lowest scoring output of the season.

FREE THROW WOES

West Virginia entered the game as the Big 12's second-best free-throw shooting team at 70 percent. The Mountaineers made 18 of 32 (56.3 percent) against the Red Raiders.

TIME TO COMMIT

Huggins challenged his players after the game to work harder in practice and eliminate mistakes.

''Everyone wants to win, (but) do they hate to lose?'' he said. ''Do they despise losing? It doesn't look like it. It's a fun game, but to be great at it, you have to be committed.''

UP NEXT

Texas Tech hosts Kansas State on Saturday.

West Virginia travels to Texas on Saturday. The Mountaineers play three of their next four games on the road.

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Key Players
J. Culver
23 G
E. Ahmad
23 F
27.3 Min. Per Game 27.3
14.3 Pts. Per Game 14.3
2.0 Ast. Per Game 2.0
5.8 Reb. Per Game 5.8
57.2 Field Goal % 46.5
45.2 Three Point % 22.6
72.2 Free Throw % 68.5
  Defensive rebound by Brandon Knapper 3.0
  Davide Moretti missed 2nd of 2 free throws 3.0
+ 1 Davide Moretti made 1st of 2 free throws 3.0
  Personal foul on Esa Ahmad 3.0
+ 1 Lamont West made 2nd of 2 free throws 5.0
+ 1 Lamont West made 1st of 2 free throws 5.0
  Shooting foul on Kyler Edwards 5.0
  Offensive rebound by Lamont West 5.0
  James Bolden missed 3-pt. jump shot 6.0
+ 1 Jarrett Culver made 2nd of 2 free throws 13.0
+ 1 Jarrett Culver made 1st of 2 free throws 13.0
Team Stats
Points 62 59
Field Goals 21-55 (38.2%) 18-43 (41.9%)
3-Pointers 3-18 (16.7%) 5-19 (26.3%)
Free Throws 17-24 (70.8%) 18-32 (56.3%)
Total Rebounds 31 41
Offensive 7 10
Defensive 22 28
Team 2 3
Assists 5 6
Steals 12 5
Blocks 4 2
Turnovers 13 21
Fouls 25 25
Technicals 0 1
18 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST
22 PTS, 7 REB
12T
away team logo 11 Texas Tech 12-1 204262
home team logo West Virginia 8-5 223759
Team Stats
away team logo 11 Texas Tech 12-1 73.1 PPG 36.5 RPG 14.0 APG
home team logo West Virginia 8-5 73.1 PPG 43.1 RPG 13.4 APG
Key Players
23
J. Culver G 18.5 PPG 6.3 RPG 3.7 APG 48.5 FG%
15
L. West F 10.8 PPG 4.0 RPG 0.8 APG 37.9 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Culver G 18 PTS 6 REB 2 AST
L. West F 22 PTS 7 REB 0 AST
38.2 FG% 41.9
16.7 3PT FG% 26.3
70.8 FT% 56.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Culver 18 6 2 6/8 0/0 6/6 4 22 1 0 2 0 6
M. Mooney 14 3 1 5/13 0/5 4/7 3 34 1 0 3 0 3
D. Moretti 12 2 0 4/9 2/5 2/3 0 34 3 0 0 0 2
T. Owens 4 4 0 1/3 0/1 2/2 5 12 0 2 0 3 1
N. Odiase 4 3 0 1/1 0/0 2/2 5 19 1 2 2 1 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Culver 18 6 2 6/8 0/0 6/6 4 22 1 0 2 0 6
M. Mooney 14 3 1 5/13 0/5 4/7 3 34 1 0 3 0 3
D. Moretti 12 2 0 4/9 2/5 2/3 0 34 3 0 0 0 2
T. Owens 4 4 0 1/3 0/1 2/2 5 12 0 2 0 3 1
N. Odiase 4 3 0 1/1 0/0 2/2 5 19 1 2 2 1 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
B. Francis 8 4 1 3/10 1/4 1/3 1 30 4 0 2 0 4
D. Corprew 2 4 1 1/6 0/2 0/0 2 17 0 0 2 1 3
K. Edwards 0 3 0 0/5 0/1 0/1 5 32 2 0 2 2 1
A. Sorrells - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Benson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Hicks - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Ondigo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Moore - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Mballa - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 62 29 5 21/55 3/18 17/24 25 200 12 4 13 7 22
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Ahmad 6 5 2 1/4 0/0 4/7 3 28 1 1 4 2 3
W. Harris 3 6 0 1/7 0/2 1/5 5 26 0 0 1 0 6
L. Routt 2 2 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 2 7 0 0 0 1 1
C. Harler 0 0 0 0/4 0/4 0/0 4 19 0 0 0 0 0
J. McCabe 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Ahmad 6 5 2 1/4 0/0 4/7 3 28 1 1 4 2 3
W. Harris 3 6 0 1/7 0/2 1/5 5 26 0 0 1 0 6
L. Routt 2 2 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 2 7 0 0 0 1 1
C. Harler 0 0 0 0/4 0/4 0/0 4 19 0 0 0 0 0
J. McCabe 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. West 22 7 0 6/9 4/7 6/8 2 30 0 0 4 4 3
D. Culver 12 8 2 3/4 0/0 6/9 2 28 0 0 2 1 7
J. Bolden 9 2 0 4/8 0/4 1/1 1 20 1 1 5 1 1
J. Haley 5 4 2 2/3 1/1 0/0 5 29 2 0 2 1 3
B. Knapper 0 2 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 8 0 0 1 0 2
E. Matthews Jr. 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
A. Gordon 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 2 1 0 2 0 1
S. Konate - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Horton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Doomes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 59 38 6 18/43 5/19 18/32 25 200 5 2 21 10 28