|Field Goal %||43.1||45.7|
|Three Point %||35.0||26.9|
|Free Throw %||67.9||85.7|
The #6 West Virginia Mountaineers (14-1) defeated the #7 Oklahoma Sooners (12-2) in front of a sold-out Coliseum Saturday night, 89-76. Mountaineer nation showed up and had the place rocking,
There was a lot of hype about Oklahoma freshman point guard Trae Young with his explosive offense, and 40 plus foot plus three pointers leading up to the game. Averaging a double-double, with 29.4 points a game and 10.6 assists, leading the Sooners to a top ten ranking, but there was some question on how we would play against the nations top defender Jevon Carter.
The Sooners opened the game with a three from guard Christian James, and West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate would get the Mountaineers on the board on the following possession, with a pair of free throws.
The game was back and forth in the first half, neither team backing down, and responding with tough shot, after tough shot. There were 7 lead changes, and the game was tied 7 times, before West Virginia went on a 12-4 run to end the half with an 8-point lead, 44-36.
Jevon Carter led all scorers with 14 points and had 7 rebounds. Lamont West had 11 and Teddy Allen 8.
The Mountaineers held Trae Young to 9 points, on 3-11 shooting from the field and 4 turnovers.
Young would start the second half hot, with 10 points on an Oklahoma 17-7 run, in the first 6:30 of play.
Jevon Carter would pick up his 4th foul and the Sooners would to take a 53-51 lead, after the free throws.
All the momentum was with the Sooners, and with West Virginia losing Carter, it was starting to look like Oklahoma would have a big second half.
Sagaba Konate would respond in a big way in Carter’s absence. He would hit two jumpers to give West Virginia the lead, and get 10 of his 16 points. West Virginia outscored the Sooners 25-15 during that stretch. “He’s getting better and better. The games’ slowed down a little bit for him.” Said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.
Beetle Bolden didn’t fill up the stat sheet, but his poise running the offense and his defensive play, during a crucial time, was big.
Huggins would bring Carter back in the game with just under 4 minutes to play, to close the game out, “When they started pressing, it was time to get him in” said Huggins.
Young ended the game with 29 points, but had 8 turnovers on 5 assists, 10 of those points coming from the free throw line. He went 3-12 (25%) from behind the arc and 8-22 (36.3%) from the field.
Oklahoma has the number one scoring offense in the country, averaging 95.8 points per game on 50.6% shooting from the field and 40.5% from three. The Mountaineers held them under their average in every category. “Ronnie (assistant head coach Ron Everhart) did a really good job showing them on film.” said Huggins.
Teddy Allen continues to provide that offensive spark coming off the bench, “We’ve always had somebody that came off the bench that changed the game for us.” Said Huggins.
Several players have stepped up all year for this Mountaineer team, to get them to their 14 straight victories, “We kind of played that way all year. It hasn’t been all JC (Jevon Carter), certainly what he does on the defensive end is Special. Dax (Daxter Miles Jr) has had his Moments, Teddy’s had moments, Beetle’s had moments.” Said Huggins. “Everybody doesn’t have to hit a good shot, just somebody. That’s kind of what’s happened to us. Somebody always steps up and makes plays.”
This team continues to improve, and along the way, they are racking up the wins.
West Virginia has a quick turnaround, hosting Baylor Tuesday night at 7pm on ESPN2.