|Field Goal %||42.9||50.8|
|Three Point %||35.3||56.3|
|Free Throw %||63.2||91.7|
The #20 West Virginia Mountaineers (19-7 8-5) got their revenge on the Texas Christian Horned Frogs (17-9 5-8) Monday night.
It was a slow start for the Mountaineers, falling behind 8-2 due to lack of energy and effort on the floor. Forward Sagaba Konate found out the hard way, sitting on the bench most of the first half. “Sags sat over there because he didn’t believe me. I said we’re gonna play hard. He didn’t believe me. He believed me the second half.” Said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.
Veteran West Virginia guards Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr got the team energized after a lob pass to a cutting Miles down the baseline for an alley-oop to cut the Horned Frogs lead to three.
The defense started to pick up against the second-best scoring offense in the Big XII and they started to get some stops.
Offensively for the Mountaineers they struggled to find any rhythm. In the first eight and a half minutes. They went 4-14 from the field and 0-3 from three-point range. They would shoot 50% (10-20) and 83.3% (5-6) from behind the arc the rest of the half.
West Virginia guard Beetle Bolden came off the bench after starting the past three games. He provided instant offense scoring five straight points to tie the game 14 with just over ten minutes of play. “I think Beetle was playing way too many minutes. I didn’t think we got the same kind of pop off the bench.” Said Huggins. “I kind of like him not playing as many minutes. I mean he was just as productive playing the minutes he played today then what he was playing.”
The Mountaineers would take their first lead with a Bolden jump shot 21-19 at the 7:48 mark and would keep the lead.
West Virginia outscored TCU 22-8 in the final 9 minutes to take an 11-point lead into halftime 38-27.
Eight different Mountaineers scored in the first half. Bolden led the way with 10 points and Teddy Allen had eight.
Allen had three of his six rebounds in the first half. One of those was offensive but what didn’t show up was just keeping the ball alive or just tipping it to a teammate. “He played hard.” said Huggins. “He didn’t necessarily grab a lot of rebounds, but he kept a lot of balls alive that other people were able to get.” Said Huggins
West Virginia’s nine offensive rebounds led to 10 second chance points. That was the difference in the first 20 minutes of the game.
The second half Sags would come back onto the floor and played his game. He would put up eight points, grab five rebounds and block four shots.
The Mountaineers came into the second half with an 11-point lead, but TCU was slowly chipping away at the lead and Desmond Bane cut it to five, hitting a three as the shot clock expired with 12:20 to go in the game.
The game was getting sloppy for the Mountaineers and it looked like they were starting to lose control of the game but refused to quit.
West Virginia would go up 10, 59-49 after a pair of free throws by Bolden with 8:31 to go and they would continue to build on their lead.
The Mountaineers would end the game on a 19-4 run to get their revenge in a big way and stay just two games back from Texas Tech in the Big XII standings.
Ten different Mountaineers scored and its been back to back games of shooting over 50% from the field.
This was a great team defensive effort. West Virginia held the Horned Frogs to 19 points under their season average and seven assists from their average in Big XII play (20.0). “They’re a great passing team. They had a hard time passing it cause we were up in their lanes. I thought our help was pretty good and I thought we guarded back cuts pretty good.” Said Huggins.
Huggins seemed a little more fired up than usual on the sidelines yelling at his players coming off the floor. “I can like me better when I’m pissed off.” Said Huggins.
West Virginia travels to Lawrence, Kansas Saturday to take on the Kansas Jayhawks at 6:00 pm est.