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Joe Toussaint, Texas Tech erase early deficit and run away with 81-70 win in opposition to WVU

MORGANTOWN — That fast cease and step again you’ve seen earlier than from Joe Toussaint, it was simply whereas he was in a West Virginia jersey.

That wasn’t the case Saturday night time within the Coliseum, as Texas Tech got here from down 16 factors early within the first half and knocked off the Mountaineers going away 81-70.

Toussaint, certainly one of 4 gamers who determined to switch out of WVU following Bob Huggins’ resignation final June, made a triumphant return to Morgantown with 21 factors and 7 assists.

“I wasn’t actually fascinated with it like that,” he mentioned afterward.

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Many within the Coliseum have been. Shouts of “traitor” amongst different issues have been heard because the Bronx, N.Y. native warmed up earlier than the sport. He was booed quite a few instances in the course of the recreation.

“I believed it was simply one other recreation on the East Coast,” mentioned Toussaint, who had 13 members of the family within the crowd to observe him play. “I used to be simply completely satisfied that my household got here to see me. I used to be glad my dad and my brothers got here right here to assist me.”

They noticed an attention-grabbing flip of occasions, as Texas Tech (20-9, 9-7 Large 12) fell behind 20-4 after the Crimson Raiders made simply certainly one of their first 11 pictures.

“We made some actually powerful pictures early,” WVU head coach Josh Eilert mentioned. “I wouldn’t say they have been good clear seems however generally it’s a little bit bit idiot’s gold once you make powerful pictures early. You type of get a confidence that’s type of a false confidence, so to talk.”

Toussaint spent one season at WVU, having transferred from Iowa. He does maintain a university diploma from WVU, however he entered his title into the switch portal within the days after Huggins’ resignation and earlier than Eilert was named the interim coach.

“It was bizarre and a variety of issues have been occurring,” Toussaint mentioned. “Me and my household didn’t know what was occurring. We thought our greatest wager was to hit the switch portal to see what we may get.”

His 21 factors tied a season excessive and was only one level off from his WVU excessive of twenty-two factors final season, oddly sufficient coming in opposition to Texas Tech.

“It was type of enjoyable going out and competing in opposition to a former teammate,” mentioned WVU guard Kobe Johnson, who had eight factors and 4 assists. “Tonight was a very good night time to exit and compete in opposition to him.”

Texas Tech had already erased the majority of the deficit earlier than halftime.

It took lower than 5 minutes into the second half for WVU (9-20, 4-12) to provide all of it up.

Probability McMillian’s 3-pointer with 7:28 remaining gave Texas Tech a 66-63 lead and the Crimson Raiders by no means trailed once more.

The loss was WVU’s third in a row and seventh in its final eight video games. The Mountaineers are only one setback from tying this system document for many losses in a season.

This one you would form of see coming, as Texas Tech continued to get increasingly more open seems within the second half.

“There have been 4 or 5 of them that they have been simply loopy open,” Eilert mentioned. “It was demoralizing how open they have been.”

The Crimson Raiders completed with 13 3-pointers and shot 57% (16 of 28) within the second half. Texas Tech additionally bought 16 extra pictures up than the Mountaineers.

“They bought some additional pictures there that helped them on their run,” Eilert mentioned. “Anytime somebody is available in and makes 13 threes and will get 16 extra pictures than you, good luck. It’s going to be a wrestle to win that one.”

Jesse Edwards led WVU with 18 factors and eight rebounds and RaeQuan Battle added 15, however 11 of these got here within the first half. He tried simply 4 pictures within the second half.

“I had 11 within the first half after which they maintain me to 4,” Battle mentioned. “That’s unacceptable on my finish. I do the perfect I can to make the pictures I get, however there’s lots that goes into it.”