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Improved Shooting Helps No. 17 West Virginia Defeat Oklahoma State



MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It was looking like the same problems that had caused West Virginia (19-7, 7-6 Big 12) to drop three games in a row were going to plague the Mountaineers against Tuesday night.

Through the first 17 and a half minutes of No. 17 WVU’s matchup with Oklahoma State, the Mountaineers had missed 15 of 22 shots, including all nine three-point attempts. West Virginia started to turn things around in the waning minutes before halftime however as new starter Taz Sherman hit a trio of jump shots and senior Jermaine Haley hit a buzzer-beater three with one second left before halftime.

The Mountaineers rode that newfound momentum into the second half, scoring the first 10 points of the period. After trailing at halftime 33-28, West Virginia built up an 11-point, 48-37 lead through 11 minutes of the second half. The Cowboys were held to just two points in the second half for more than nine minutes and only four points scored for more than 12 minutes.

Leading WVU’s shooting charge was the junior Sherman, who had nine points on 4-11 shooting. This performance coming after Sherman scored a season-high 20 points at Baylor on Saturday. Sherman entered the starting lineup for just the second time this season Tuesday night, joining freshman Miles McBride as a part of a new-look starting lineup. Sherman and McBride started in the places of Jordan McCabe and Derek Culver.

Sean McNeil, McBride and Jermaine Haley all also had good shooting nights. McNeil scored 11 points, McBride 11 and Haley eight.

West Virginia also held the advantage on the boards, out-rebounding OSU 42-29. Big men Oscar Tshiebwe (15 rebounds) and Derek Culver (10) led the way. Tshiebwe also scored eight points.

The Mountaineers went on to defeat the Cowboys 65-47, allowing only 14 second-half points. The 65 points and 42.6 shooting percentage were the best marks for WVU since defeating Iowa State on Feb. 5. The Mountaineers also committed only 10 turnovers, the lowest total since Jan. 20.

The Mountaineers will now hit the road and take on the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth on Saturday. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

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