By Doug Walp
Terry Henderson scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half to lead West Virginia to an 87-81 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday night.
Henderson bounced back from a poor performance in a loss Saturday at Kansas State with his career best, topping the 23 points he scored against Michigan last year.
West Virginia (11-8, 3-3 Big 12) needed Henderson’s effort because Texas Tech’s Dusty Hannahs scored a career-high 25 points, making 7 of 7 3-pointers.
Texas Tech (10-9, 2-4) trimmed a 10-point deficit to 85-81 on three free throws by Robert Turner with 30 seconds left, but the Red Raiders didn’t score again.
West Virginia’s Juwan Staten added 16 points, Eron Harris had 15 and Nathan Adrian scored 10.
Texas Tech also got 16 points from Jaye Crockett, 15 from Toddrick Gotcher and 13 from Turner.
Texas Tech saw its two-game winning streak snapped. The Red Raiders were going for back-to-back road wins for the first time since January 2005.
Henderson saw to it that wouldn’t happen.
West Virginia took the lead for good late in the first half and rode Henderson’s hot hand after halftime to break a three-game losing streak.
Henderson made a layup and two 3-pointers over a 1:13 span to push a one-point halftime lead to 50-41 with 17:39 remaining.
After West Virginia freshman Devin Williams went to the bench with his fourth foul, Hannahs made a floater and a pair of 3-pointers. The second one brought the Red Raiders within 59-57 with 12:32 left.
Henderson answered with eight straight points for West Virginia, and Harris extended the lead to 75-65 with two free throws with 6:47 left.
Turner scored nine points down the stretch to give Texas Tech a chance, but the Red Raiders’ defense couldn’t get the necessary stops when they needed them.
The Mountaineers were coming off double-digit losses to Kansas State and Texas, combining to go 8-for-40 from 3-point range in those games.
West Virginia did much better against Texas Tech, making 11 of 20 3-point attempts. The Red Raiders were no slouches, going 12 of 19.
The teams combined to go 11 of 14 from beyond the arc in the first 12 minutes of the game but didn’t fare as well closer to the basket.
West Virginia hit its first six 3-point tries and jumped ahead 20-10, then went without a field goal over a six-minute stretch and imploded on defense. Texas Tech roared back with 16 unanswered points, including three 3-pointers from Hannahs, and the Red Raiders led 26-20 with 8:17 left until halftime.
Staten, who scored 25 points in an overtime win over Texas Tech on Jan. 6, didn’t get his first basket until late in the first half but made some free throws and helped the Mountaineers lead 40-39 at halftime.