Jonathan Holton and Bob Huggins

Jonathan Holton and Bob Huggins embrace at the end of WVU’s Senior Night win over Texas Tech.

For West Virginia’s three seniors, Wednesday night’s home send-off couldn’t have been more magical.

Leading scorer Jaysean Paige led the way with 15 points. Pogo-stick forward, Jonathan Holton pulled, down 11 rebounds. Even Richard Romeo, the walk-on who had played 16 total minutes this season, hit a late jumper and ignited the WVU Coliseum crowd.

And most importantly, the Mountaineers (23-7, 12-5 Big 12) put together one of their most complete efforts of the season, turning aside a strong Texas Tech team in a 90-68 win during an emotional night for WVU’s departing stars.

“It’s just a moment I can never put into words,” Paige said. “I can’t really explain it. Just going out there for your last time with all your family and friends there.”

West Virginia followed its script to a T on Wednesday night: the Mountaineers scored 34 points off 19 Texas Tech turnovers, and boosted by a typically energetic performance from Holton, they owned the rebounding battle 40-23.

The Mountaineers proved to be the physically superior team from the jump, and it showed on the scoreboard–Texas Tech scored the first basket, but the ensuing 2-0 lead was the only time the Red Raiders were on top all night.

“It doesn’t happen all the time, but that’s the idea,” said WVU head coach Bob Huggins. “The idea is to get more shots than they get. You can do that by offensive rebounding and live-ball turnovers. We got more points tonight off live-ball turnovers than I think we have all year in conference play, and that’s key for us.”

Paige paced the team with his 15-point, five-rebound, five-assist effort, but the Mountaineers’ best all-around player of the night might have been junior Nathan Adrian, who scored 13 points on 6-8 shooting with five rebounds and three assists. West Virginia also got a crucial scoring punch from sophomore guard Daxter Miles Jr., who contributed 15 points on five 3-pointers.

For Miles, who has struggled with his shot for several months now, his big night was the result of hard work in the gym as he worked to fix some mechanical issues with his shot that had cropped up over the course of the season.

“Coach Huggins and his nephew Anthony have been watching film on me and they saw what I was doing wrong,” Miles said. “On the release I was bringing the ball through my body instead of shooting straight over my right eye. I’ve been trying to work on that lately and tonight it was a good shooting night.”

Miles returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Feb. 9 against Kansas. It wasn’t the only lineup alteration that Huggins made, as the Mountaineers’ bench boss made the surprising move to replace star big man Devin Williams with sophomore Elijah Macon.

Huggins remarked that “study hall is important” when asked about the lineup change after the game–Williams hadn’t come off the bench since his freshman year, and scored just two points in 23 minutes. For his part, Macon looked comfortable early on and finished with eight points.

Only one game remains in West Virginia’s regular season as the Mountaineers head to Waco, Texas to face the Baylor Bears at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Afterward, West Virginia will have a few days off before the start of the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Missouri next Thursday.