The No. 8 Texas Tech Red Raiders upset No. 2 West Virginia 72-71 on Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas, to snap the Mountaineers' 15-game winning streak.
"Junior Center Norense Odiase (6'9" 245-lbs) leads the team in rebounds (5.5) and averages 4.7 points per game.
The Red Raiders were ranked No. 8 ahead of Saturday's basketball game.
West Virginia's stay as the No. 2 team in the country will be a short one.
Having watched the first half of West Virginia's season from the margins, Esa Ahmad now resurfaces, carrying the key to the second half. Their leader is senior Kennan Evans, shooting 49% from the floor and averaging 17 points per game in 26 minutes so far this season. Senior forward Zach Smith (ankle) was sidelined in a boot during Wednesday's loss at Oklahoma, and guard Justin Gray (knee) produced one point and three turnovers in 15 minutes.
"Freshman guard David Moretti (6'3" 165-lbs) is another player that can come off the bench and provide some offense, especially from behind the arc.
TCU overcame the Longhorns' size with stifling zone defense and shot over 80 percent from 3-point range, coming from behind in the final minute to beat a Texas team that blew out West Virginia by 20 on December 31.
On the season, West Virginia averages 82.8 points, 40.2 rebounds and 16.3 assists per game. They combine to average 12 points as a duo.
Depending on Ahmad's conditioning and rustiness - possibly mitigated by his ability to continue practicing these past three months - he figures to deliver an immediate impact when WVU visits No. 8 Texas Tech in the nation's marquee game Saturday. Lagerald Vick gets the start beside Graham in the backcourt.
With the win, the Red Raiders (15-2 overall, 4-1 in the Big 12) improved their home record to 12-0. He averages 17 points per game and shoots 48% from downtown. West Virginia's press can lead to a lot of open threes if it's broken and those are shots that this Kansas team may be able to make.
West Virginia has the home court and will have the best player on the court, as they do most Big 12 games with Jevon Carter. With a win they they can be two games up on Kansas in the Big 12 standings after just seven games.
"The thing I've always liked about Esa is he knows how to play", coach Bob Huggins said.
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