Mountaineers Bite No. 7 Oklahoma
MORGANTOWN, W.Va–The 12th largest crowd in WVU Coliseum history got its monies’ worth, as West Virginia and Oklahoma went toe to toe in a top 10 duel.
In the end, the No. 6 Mountaineers came home with the prize, an 89-76 victory over the No. 7 Sooners.
WVU improved to 14-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big 12, while OU dropped to 12-2 and 2-1 in the league.
Though Oklahoma jumped out to a 13-9 lead in the early moments, the Mountaineers fought back and assumed a 10-point advantage late in the first half and took a 44-36 lead into the lockerroom at the midway juncture.
The first half was played at a frantic pace, at least for West Virginia. Neither team made a high percentage from the field for the first 20 minutes (less than 40 percent each), but both got up a lot of attempts. West Virginia’s 43 field goal tries in the first half were the second most it had taken in any half this season, exceeded by only the 44 in the first half against Coppin State. Meanwhile OU was 13-of-34 from the field.
Jevon Carter and Lamont West accounted for almost half of WVU’s shots in the opening period (21 total) and more than half its points. Carter poured in 14 points in the first half, and West wasn’t far behind with 11.
Carter, with a lot of help from his teammates, also did a good job defending the Sooners’ all-everything freshman, Trae Young. The OU point guard, who came to Morgantown averaging over 29 points and 10 assists a game, was limited to nine points and three assists in the first half, to go along with four turnovers.
But Young and Oklahoma didn’t stay down for long once the second half started. The visitors came clawing back, and a Young three from over 30 feet gave the Sooners their first lead, 51-49, since the 10-minute mark of the first half. West Virginia responded itself, though, and from there it was game on.
Carter picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench with 13:30 left. WVU was down two when J.C. left the game, but instead of folding without their senior leader, the Mountaineers rallied, took back the lead and expanded it to 11, 73-62.
After that, it was fight between a poodle and a pit bull. The poodle may look pretty, but it’s not beating the pit bull in a street brawl.
Teddy Allen and Lamont West led WVU’s scoring with 20 and 17 points respectively. Carter added 17 points to go along with 10 assists for his third double-double of the season. And Sagaba Konate also had his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
For Oklahoma, Young reached his season average, scoring 29, but it took him 22 shots to make eight. And he also turned the ball over a season-high eight times.
WVU doesn’t have much time to enjoy the win, as it’s back on the court Tuesday, hosting Baylor in a 7 p.m. start.