March 10, 2018 / 5:31 AM / 8 days ago

Miles, Carter lead No. 18 West Virginia past No. 14 Texas Tech

Daxter Miles Jr. scored 22 points and Jevon Carter added 17 as No. 18 West Virginia held off 14th-ranked Texas Tech 66-63 on Friday in one of two Big 12 tournament semifinal games at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

The Mountaineers (24-9) advance to meet No. 9 Kansas, the top-seeded team, in the championship game Saturday. Both West Virginia and Texas Tech are expected to be added to the NCAA Tournament field as at-large teams after highly successful regular seasons.

West Virginia led 63-61 after a jumper by Sagaba Konate with 1:46 to play. Texas Tech got a free throw by Keenan Evans on its next possession but the Mountaineers answered with two free throws from Konate with 1:11 left to push the score to 65-61.

Evans then drilled a jumper to bring the Red Raiders to within 65-63. But after a West Virginia missed shot, he hit the front of the rim on a contested 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining.

Miles made a free throw to expand the Mountaineers’ advantage to 66-63 with 6.2 secomds left and a wild near-half-court 3-pointer by Niem Stevenson at the buzzer was no good, allowing West Virginia the victory.

Konate added 11 points for the Mountaineers, the third seed in this tournament.

Jarrett Culver led the Red Raiders (24-9) with 16 points while Evans added 13 and Stevenson hit for 11 points in a game that was as close throughout as its final score.

Texas Tech led by as many as nine points with 13 minutes to play in the first half before the Mountaineers roared all the way back and more, moving to the front on a free throw by Esa Ahmad with 2:51 remaining in the half before settling for a 27-26 advantage at halftime.

Miles led all scorers in the defense-dominated half with eight points while Stevenson paced the Red Raiders with seven points. Both teams took 25 shots from the field in the first half and both made 10 (40 percent).

West Virginia led by 56-48 after two free throws by Miles with 6:07 to play but the Red Raiders fashioned a final comeback, tying the game on 3-pointer by Stevenson with 5:01 remaining and taking the lead on a free throw by Culver with 4:14 left.

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