MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – With a 3-0 start to Big 12 play, the TCU Horned Frogs came into the WVU Coliseum Tuesday night co-leading the conference with the Baylor Bears.
Before Tuesday TCU (12-4, 3-1 Big 12) had not yet faced a ranked team this season, making the matchup with No. 12 West Virginia (14-2, 3-1) possibly their toughest challenge yet. The game started slow, with both teams hovering around 10 points through the games first eight minutes. It was WVU’s second team providing a spark off the bench that helped the Mountaineers build up a lead.
WVU coach Bob Huggins made a wholesale change, subbing in Logan Routt, Miles McBride, Brandon Knapper and Chase Harler with 13:48 left in the first half. The line change paid off as the four powered WVU on a 14-0 run that gave the Mountaineers a 23-11. Harler scored all seven of his points on that day during the 14-point WVU run.
Through the rest of the first half, West Virginia would not relinquish its double-digit lead. In the second half, the WVU defense started to clamp down on the Horned Frogs and the Mountaineers continued to build on their lead. West Virginia held TCU to 26 points in the second half, eventually building up a 20-point lead that the Mountaineers would carry to a 81-49 victory.
The Mountaineers were led by sophomore big man Derek Culver’s 17 points and 11 rebounds, but the bench carried much of the scoring throughout the game. Along with Harler’s seven points, McBride (11), Knapper (five) and Sean McNeil (eight) all also contributed off the bench. West Virginia led TCU in bench points 39-6.
The win moves WVU into at least a tie for second place in the Big 12 heading into this weekend’s games. The Mountaineers will now travel to the Little Appel to take on Kansas State on Saturday. Tip-off from Bramlage Coliseum is set for 2 p.m.