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Mens basketball

Texas Tech 72, West Virginia 71

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Keenan Evans scored 20 points, Brandone Francis had a career-high 17 and No. 8 Texas Tech won the first-ever Top 10 matchup on its home court, beating second-ranked West Virginia 72-71 on Saturday.

Evans hit a lean-in jumper to give the Red Raiders (15-2, 4-1 Big 12) a four-point lead in the final minute and send the first sellout crowd of the season into a frenzy. The Mountaineers had their nation-leading 15-game winning streak stopped.

Jevon Carter scored 28 points - one off his career high - for West Virginia (15-2, 4-1). Esa Ahmad added 18 in his season debut following an NCAA academic suspension.

Freshman Zhaire Smith's alley-oop dunk sparked a 12-2 run to help the Red Raiders wipe out an 11-point deficit in the second half. Smith had nine points and eight rebounds.

Francis, a junior transfer from Florida whose only previous double-digit game was 10 in a 34-point blowout over Savannah State, hit two go-ahead jumpers in the closing minutes. The Red Raiders shot 58 percent in the second half while holding the Mountaineers to 33 percent.

There were three lead changes and three ties late in the second half before Niem Stevenson hit two free throws to put the Red Raiders in front for good with 2:07 remaining.

It was the first time Texas Tech won a Top 10 matchup. Two of the three in school history were this week, starting with a 75-65 loss to No. 9 Oklahoma on Tuesday.

After struggling in a home win over Baylor earlier this week in the first game with their highest ranking since Jerry West's senior season in December 1959, the Mountaineers couldn't keep the raucous crowd out of it when it looked like they were in control.

The surge that got the Red Raiders back in the game was a good illustration of the depth Texas Tech will likely rely on in the Big 12. Five players hit buckets, capped by a 3 from Francis that cut the deficit to 49-48.



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