|Field Goal %||47.4||38.8|
|Three Point %||47.1||20.7|
|Free Throw %||74.2||79.2|
The West Virginia Mountaineers have now lost their first four games of their Big 12 Conference schedule after falling to the Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-8, 2-2) 85-77 inside the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers shooting woes continued as they shot 26-67 from the field and 6-29 from three.
Despite open looks, West Virginia started the game 0-7 (0-5 3pt) from the field and trailed 7-2. The only points coming from Beetle Bolden attacking the lane and drawing contact on Oklahoma States Yor Anei and making both free throws.
The Mountaineers started getting into a flow of their offense as they continued to feed the ball down to Culver. Drawing a double team, Culver made a pass to a cutting Jermaine Haley for the lay-in, sparking a 10-3 run to take a 12-9 lead.
Oklahoma States Thomas Dziagwa buried a couple of threes, killing any WVU momentum and giving the Cowboys a one-point lead. Then
West Virginia missed three straight three-pointers as Oklahoma State went on an 11-2 run, building a 10-point lead with 1:57 left in the first half. West Virginia’s Derek Culver stopped the run with an offensive rebound and put back on a missed three by Lamont West and a pair of free throws from Culver got the Mountaineers within six. However, Curtis Jones hit a three. Then, following a WVU turnover, Jones hit a pair of free throws to put the Cowboys up 39-28 at the half.
Lamont West came out aggressive to start the second half. He had a put back on his missed lay-up, buried a three from the wing, created space for a jump shot in the corner and got to the line creating contact underneath.
Derek Culver got the Mountaineers within four after a strong offensive rebound and put back.
Beetle Bolden got into foul trouble early in the game and as a result only played six minutes in the first half. However, he played all 20 minutes and went for 29-points in the second half.
West Virginia shot 51.4% (18-35) and had 49 points in the second half but it was their defense that kept them from regaining the lead. Oklahoma State did make some tough shots, but gave up too many easy baskets, resulting in 20 points in the paint.
The Mountaineers go the Cowboy lead down to five points with nine minutes left in the game. Oklahoma State responded with six straight points and it was seemingly the back breaker. WVU wouldn’t get any closer than seven points of OSU throughout the rest of the game.
Esa Ahmad and Wesley Harris did not play in the game. They were dressed for the game and it was clear neither was injured. West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins, although no specifics, gave his reason for not playing Esa and Wes after the game.
“All of those guys are like my kids, just like all of the guys that I’ve had in the past. As a parent, sometimes, you want more for your children than they want from themselves. That’s a very frustrating situation to be in. I expect more from those guys sometimes than, I don’t want to speak for them. I don’t want to say than they expect from themselves, because I don’t know that. We have to all be on the same page. We all have to be working for the same goal.”
“We’re going to practice tomorrow at 1:00. I would assume so”, Huggins responded on their next opportunity to get on the same page. “I don’t have a doghouse. You guys think I’m mean, and I have a doghouse. I’ve never had a doghouse. I’m at times a very frustrated parent.”
In the absence of Esa and Wes, it opened the door for some of the younger players to get more playing time. At some points throughout the game, there were three to four freshmen on the floor.
“It’s kind of hard. I want to get Trey (Doomes) in, and he deserves to get in. It’s hard when you haven’t played, it’s hard. He had a couple breakdowns defensively that hurt us. It’s hard to run anything with him and Derek (Culver) in there, because they both really haven’t been around that long. I though Emmitt (Mathews Jr.) was okay. We just have to keep working with them and hopefully try to get them better.”
Huggins talked about the team’s defensive performance and commented on different approaches throughout the year trying to create more stops.
“We’ve fooled around with a 2-3 zone, we’ve fooled around with a 1-3-1. You can’t 2-3 those guys (Oklahoma State). They shoot it too well, and they shoot it too deep.” Explained Huggs. “They’re going to spread you. Really, them spreading us didn’t hurt as much as it hurts most people. They didn’t back cut us, and Trey got back screened. But they have a lot of skill. Our defense wasn’t good, don’t get me wrong, but we can’t go through those spells where we don’t score. That’s what kills us. Likely, they just outmanned us. They just totally outmanned us, physically outmanned us.”
West Virginia travels to Ft. Worth, Texas this Monday to take on TCU Tuesday night at 7:00 pm on ESPNU.
Oklahoma State Stats