In the penultimate game of the college basketball regular season, No. 6 West Virginia defeated visiting TCU, 76-67, Thursday evening at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers (18-7, 11-5 Big 12) led wire-to-wire as the Horned Frogs (12-12, 5-10) could not get the lead closer than seven in the second half.
TCU played West Virginia even for the first six minutes of the contest but suffered through a stretch of nine-straight misses from the floor and fell into a double-digit deficit that the Horned Frogs struggled to climb out of. In the first half, TCU shot just 4 of 22 (18.2%) from the floor, 1 for 7 from beyond the arc, and trailed 32-18 at halftime.
For the Mountaineers, freshman wing Jalen Bridges had the best half of his career, scoring 12 points and nine rebounds before halftime. As a team, WVU did not have its strongest offensive showing against the Horned Frogs, shooting 34.4% in the game, 38.1% from 3-point range. WVU grabbed 18 offensive rebounds but scored just 11 second-chance points.
WVU offensive inefficiency allowed TCU to close the gap a little bit in the second half, getting the lead under 10 points multiple times, but the Horned Frogs could never put together the big run that they needed to really threaten.
Bridges finished his first career double-double, scoring a career-high 22 points with 11 rebounds. He shot 5 of 8 from the floor with four 3-pointers. WVU junior Derek Culver scored 17 points with eight rebounds of his own. Miles “Deuce” McBride and Sean McNeil combined to score 24 points on 6 of 22 (27.3%) shooting.
Jaedon LeDee led TCU with a career-high 20 points while freshman Mike Miles scored 15. Forward Kevin Samuel scored 12 points with eight rebounds. TCU rebounded from its ice-cold first half to shoot 53.1% in the second half.
The Mountaineers will play their regular-season finale Saturday against Oklahoma State with a chance to secure a second-place finish in the Big 12 with a win.