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Takeaways: Rebounding an Issue For WVU in Loss to Oklahoma



WVU Basketball Akok Akok
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

WVU Basketball fell behind in the second half vs. No. 15 Oklahoma on the road, losing 77-63 on Wednesday night. Let’s look at some takeaways from the game.

Mountaineers Get Bullied on Boards

West Virginia, specifically in the second half, got bullied on the boards by the Sooners. Oklahoma out-rebounded WVU by 14 and pulled down 10 offensive rebounds throughout the game. Oklahoma G Otega Oweh had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. West Virginia allowed 40 points in the paint as OU found their way inside plenty of times.

WVU’s rebounding leaders: Pat Suemnick (7), Quinn Slazinski (5).

The Mountaineers aren’t going to out-rebound Big 12 teams, especially without Jesse Edwards. Luckily for WVU, Suemnick has stepped up the last two weeks or it could be worse.

Kriisa Not Connecting with Backcourt

WVU G Kerr Kriisa struggled against Oklahoma as the Arizona transfer turned the ball over four times and shot 1-for-5 from the field. Kriisa has been back with the Mountaineers after serving his nine-game suspension but has struggled to click with the rest of the backcourt.

Kriisa has turned around WVU’s tempo this season, and it seems like his teammates are more accustomed to the pace. Kriisa finds the open man in the lane or to catch and shoot a three but is surrounded by isolation-based players like RaeQuan Battle and Noah Farrakhan.

Defense Showed Some Improvement

In the first half, WVU looked like they could hang in there with the Sooners for the entirety of the game. Oklahoma struggled shooting out of the gates and had just 12 points through 12 minutes. West Virginia has presented a new defensive look by trying to play more help defense off the ball and create more turnovers. In the past two games, West Virginia’s opposition has turned the ball over a combined 39 times. The Mountaineers are trying to turn defense into transition offense, which can work well with Kriisa, Battle, Farrakhan and Kobe Johnson.

Oklahoma went on a run towards the end of the first half, which got them in rhythm during the second half.

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