Connect with us

WVU Basketball

No. 12 Oklahoma Wins Double-Overtime Dogfight Vs No. 14 West Virginia, 91-90



(photo: Dale Sparks/WVU Athletic Communications)

Two top 14 teams battled for 50 minutes Saturday in the WVU Coliseum and at the end of it all, the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners came out on top, defeating No. 14 West Virginia, 91-90.

For Oklahoma (13-5, 8-4 Big 12), it was the Sooners’ fourth-straight victory over the Mountaineers, sweeping the season series against WVU in both 2019-20 and 2020-21. It was West Virginia’s (14-6, 7-4) first in-conference loss since Jan. 9 against No. 4 Texas.

WVU’s Derek Culver, a junior forward, had one of the best first halves of his college career, scoring 13 points and grabbing nine rebounds with zero personal fouls. He dominated Oklahoma forward Brady Manek, who scored just five points before halftime.

Despite Culver’s efforts, the Mountaineers were lucky to head into halftime tied with the Sooners at 31. While Culver was thriving down low, WVU’s shooters were nearly as cold as the winter weather outside. Seven different WVU players attempted a 3-pointer in the first half, and yet the first one did not fall until sophomore Miles “Deuce” McBride made a half-court buzzer-beater to tie the game at 31 at the half. Before then, WVU had missed all eight of its shots from beyond the arch.

At the other end, the Sooners were not shooting much better, finishing the half just 3 of 12 on 3-point attempts. Oklahoma’s best offense was conducted in transition. The Sooners scored 10 of its 31 first-half points on the fast break.

In the second half, OU coach Lon Kruger made an adjustment to run his offense through senior guard Austin Reaves, to much success. Reaves’ ability to penetrate confounded WVU’s defense, as he scored 16 second-half points and Oklahoma’s shooters shot 6 of 14 on 3-pointers. The Sooners were able to pull ahead of WVU in the second half, maintaining a two-possession lead for much of the time.

WVU guard Sean McNeil started his second consecutive game in place of an injured Taz Sherman. After scoring a career-high 26 points against Texas Tech on Tuesday, the junior had just one shot attempt in the first half. After halftime, however, McNeil shot 7 of 10 with five 3-pointers to help the Mountaineers cut into Oklahoma’s lead. McNeil made three-straight 3-pointers to tie the game at 68 with 3:23 left to play. That was during a stretch where McNeil scored 13-straight points for the Mountaineers.

WVU would go on to retake the lead on free throws from McBride with 2:10 left. Oklahoma tied the game at 72 with 21 seconds left. McBride took the final possession for WVU and missed a jumper with about 10 seconds left. He was able to corral his own rebound but missed another jumper as time ran out and the teams went into overtime tied at 72.

In the first overtime period, the Mountaineers shot just 3 of 10 from the floor, with two of the makes coming on putbacks by Emmitt Matthews and Jalen Bridges. On the other side, the Sooners only attempted five shots, making two of them. Bridges’ putback tied the game with less than a minute left and the teams went into double overtime locked at 79

OU’s Elijah Harkless put the Sooners up four in double overtime with a 3-points, but he fouled out on the next possession. Culver scored the next seven points to put WVU back ahead 88-85. OU retook the lead on free throws by Reaves, but McBride was able to score a contested layup with 40 seconds left to put the Mountaineers back up 90-89.

On the other end, Reaves scored a floater over McBride to give the advantage back to the Sooners with 26 seconds left. On the last possession, Culver was blocked with seven seconds left and was the last to touch the ball as it went out of bounds. On Oklahoma’s ensuing inbounds pass, WVU senior Gabe Osabuohien was able to tie-up with the OU player that received the pass and the possession arrow gave the ball back to the Mountaineers with 4 seconds left.

Matthews threw the inbounds pass away, trying to lob it to McBride over a few Sooners, but in the scramble for the ball, it again went out of bounds off a Sooner and gave WVU another chance to win it. McBride made the inbounds pass this time, getting it to Culver under the basket, but Culver was blocked again and missed another shot as OU won 90-89.

Culver set a new career-high with 29 points to go along with 14 rebounds, his conference-leading 10th double-double of the season. McNeil finished with 21 points, his second consecutive 20-point game. McBride finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Reaves led the Sooners with 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Umoja Gibson contributed 21. Manek and Harkless scored 11 and 12, respectively.

West Virginia’s next scheduled game is not until a rematch with Texas in Austin next Saturday. The Mountaineers were scheduled to play Baylor on Monday and Thursday, but both games were postponed due to COVID protocols in the Baylor program.

Get WVSN in your mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe to WVSN and receive notifications of new posts by email.