WVU Fails To Finish, Falls To No. 4 Texas

West Virginia forward Derek culver is hacked by Texas' Royce Hamm

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Texas hit only one 3-point shot in the second half in Saturday’s showdown with No. 14 West Virginia at the WVU Coliseum, and the No. 4 Longhorns held the lead for just 1.8 seconds of the final 29 minutes.

But UT made the shot and held the lead when it counted the most – at the end – lifting the ‘Horns to a 72-70 victory over the Mountaineers.

“Aww man, that was real tough,” said a downtrodden WVU sophomore guard Deuce McBride moments after walking off the floor. “To have the lead the whole game and give it up like that was a real tough one. We’ll think about it today and tonight, and then tomorrow we have to move on.”

Tomorrow doesn’t get any easier because that’s when West Virginia (9-3 overall and 2-3 in the Big 12 Conference) begins preparations for No. 2 Baylor (11-0/4-0). WVU faces the Bears in Waco on Tuesday at 9 p.m. (Eastern) in a game that will be televised by ESPN2.

Today was a missed opportunity against another highly-ranked opponent, as the Mountaineers fell 1.8 seconds short of posting its 13th all-time win in 52 games against a top four foe.

After a slow start, West Virginia heated up midway through the first half to forge a lead and took a 40-36 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

WVU tried to pull away in the second half and held leads as large as nine points a couple of different times early in the period. But the Longhorns kept battling back, and while they could never quite draw even, they stayed close enough to take advantage of a chance when it was presented in the closing moments.

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The Mountaineers took a 70-65 lead with 1:41 left to play when WVU senior guard Taz Sherman knocked down a jumper from the foul line.

West Virginia wouldn’t score the rest of the way, though it did have several golden opportunities.

Mountaineer junior forward Derek Culver went to the foul line with 1:05 remaining and WVU up 70-67, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one.

UT’s Courtney Ramey quickly sliced the WVU lead to 70-69 with a driving layup on the other end.

West Virginia came down, now leading by one, and started a sequence that would leave them contemplating the wouldas, couldas, shouldas.

West Virginia forward Emmitt Matthews (11) scoops a shot over Texas’ Brock Cunningham (30)

WVU junior forward Emmitt Matthews put up a shot with 35 seconds left. It missed, but he got his own rebound and worked the ball back out. McBride eventually put up for a shot with 13 seconds left, but his jumper didn’t fall either. Again Matthews corralled the offensive rebound, though, and he had a chance to turn and dribble back out to work more time off the clock. Instead, though, he spun to the bucket and was fouled with 10.8 seconds remaining.

“We all would have,” said WVU head coach Huggins when asked if he would have liked to have seen Matthews pull his last offensive rebound out to run more clock, “but the reality of it is they would have fouled him out there, and it was going to run just a few more seconds off the clock. That’s not going to end the game.”

Up 70-69 with a veteran, who had previously this season converted 26 of 29 free throw attempts, at the foul line for two shots, West Virginia seemed to be in pretty good hands.

But Matthews missed not just one but both free throws.

Texas’ Greg Brown grabbed the second miss, and the Longhorns’ Courtney Ramey took the outlet pass and went streaking up court, headed straight for the rim.

Nearly every Mountaineer on the floor collapsed into the paint to stop what would have been Ramey’s game-winning drive, but that also left UT junior Andrew Jones wide open in the corner. Ramey saw him and instead of forcing up a contested shot of his own, he pitched it out to his teammate. The ‘Horns didn’t need the 3-pointer for the win, but since Jones was open from there, he let fly with a shot that hit the bottom of the net with 1.8 seconds left, plunging a dagger into WVU’s victory dream.

“We knew Ramey was going to try to drive downhill and try to create contact or create a play for someone else, which he did,” said Sherman of that final, fateful UT play. “My job was to try to stay in front of (Ramey) and try to force a tough shot. He created help and kicked it out to an open shooter.

“We talked during the game plan about not giving (Jones) step-in threes, and he made four or five step-in threes today. He made a big shot when they needed one.”

West Virginia took a timeout after Jones gave UT the two-point lead. Huggins tried to draw up a miracle, but the play didn’t have much of a chance. McBride’s three-quartercourt pass sailed high and Texas left the Coliseum with its fourth victory in its 10th game in the building.

Jones, who is three years removed from a life-and-death battle with leukemia, finished with 16 points, making four of seven 3-pointers along the way. Three of those treys came in the first half, as he saved his one in the second half until UT needed it most.

Ramey led Texas (10-1/4-0) with 19 points to go along with six assists, the biggest being his drive-and-pitch to Jones in the final seconds.

Sherman had 17 points to lead the Mountaineers. He made three of his first four 3-point attempts, but missed his six tries from beyond the arc after his hot start.

Derek Culver recorded his seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 14 points and 16 rebounds, but he made just six of his 16 field goal attempts and only two of his six free throw tries.

“We can talk about Emmitt missing free throws, but to me the play of the game was when we were up six but gave up a pass to guy open inside for an easy layup,” stated Huggins. “If we don’t give that up and then go up eight with, what, two minutes to go, that would have been pretty tough for them to overcome.”

As it was, West Virginia could never put Texas away, thus allowing the Longhorns a shot to win it. Jones was up to the task.



Home Page forums WVU Fails To Finish, Falls To No. 4 Texas

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    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Texas hit just one 3-point shot in the second half in Saturday’s showdown with No. 14 West Virginia at the WVU Coliseum, and the N
    [See the full post at: WVU Fails To Finish, Falls To No. 4 Texas]


    Poor team shooting doomed us again.  39% for the game and less than 30% in the second half.  We have a good half and a poor half:  the two games previously we had a good second half and won one.  Now we changed it up:  a terrible second half of shooting.  Against good teams we need to consistently put two good halves together.  Will it happen?  Still waiting for the team that can “shoot the ball” to put a total game together.


    We are playing better offensively now than at the beginning of the year.  But still not good enough.  The question is whether they will ever get to be good offensively.  Still lots of time to get there but the improvement needs to come from McBride, McNeil, Sherman, Bridges, Matthews, and Johnson.  I would rather it be sooner rather than later.  But if that is all I can get I will take later.  As long as later is still this season.


    That’s 5 of the last 6 we’ve dropped to them.  It seems as though teams are getting our number in BB and FB.


    You’re up 2 with 10 seconds left and have 2 free throws. Make the free throws and there’s no way you can lose. You just go down the floor, form an arc beyond the arc near the basket and don’t move a muscle. If they shot a 2 or a 3, so what? Game over! But make the damn free throws! Upset was in the bag if you do.


    TX is the #4 team and a legit contender.  It wouldn’t have hurt so bad if we lost by 20.  We could give excuse after excuse about losing to a #4 team big.   But this one just hurts.


    CFE, we were only up one but still, make the foul shots and you cannot lose in regulation anyway.

    Had a feeling that was the way it would play out unfortunately.


    There were many opportunities for WVU to win this game.  Look at turnovers, missed foul shots by other players, poor shooting, poor defense.  All of this seems to be part of a stagnant half-court offense and a defense that isn’t alert or aggressive.  We see it more and more.  The only exciting streaks have been during the Richmond game, the comeback against OK and the comeback against OKSt.  During those runs the players looked like they were having fun and enjoying the game, but last night they didn’t seem to have that same look.


    A wise old coach used to put up his thumb and finger about a quarter of an inch apart and say, “That’s the difference between a champ and a chump”! But if he knew, he didn’t say what constituted that little gap! It probably is not one thing but a combination of things, of which any one , two or more can manifest itself as CONSISTENCY, the bottom line key to winning! A high level of natural talent might be the base ingredient, augmented by a combination of other mixes,including but not all encompassing, enthusiasm, ego, curiosity, willingness to learn, team chemistry and coaching! And one that can’t be left out, LUCK!
    Some people define luck as the result of the time when preparation meets opportunity! But in the world percentages, instilling the ingredients of CONSISTENCY trump(sorry) relying on luck!


    CFE, we were only up one but still, make the foul shots and you cannot lose in regulation anyway.

    Had a feeling that was the way it would play out unfortunately.

    Correct Mex.  Have to make the clutch FT’s at the end of the game.   We missed our last 3 FT’s including a front end of 1-1 miss by Dererk.  And nobody looks at the 4 shots before that.  At the 2 min mark Matthews makes 2.  At the 7 min mark Taz makes 2.

    What’s the difference?


    Feels like this loss will take away more than the lift we got coming back on Okie St.

    Can’t help but feel we are barreling toward mediocrity.  Then again, we had pretty good luck against Baylor in a similar situation before.


    What can I say?  My glass is always half full.

    While disappointing, a loss like we had against Texas yesterday is never discouraging to me.  They are a good team.  We had numerous opportunities throughout the game to make a play that would have made the last 10 seconds immaterial.  When we start to make those plays we will have gotten better.

    The mistake we (Matthews) made was not passing the ball out after he got the rebound.  The shot clock is off, we can run out the clock if they do not foul us, and he had open players outside for an easy pass out.  That is the correct play, not putting the ball back up.  Even if he scores, gets fouled, and makes the free throw it is not the correct play.  May win the game but in that situation the correct play is always to pass it back out.  As an experienced junior he not only should have known that, he should have done that.

    We simply need to continue to get better.


    IDK that Emmitt not passing it out was a mistake.  Thought that in the beginning, but thinking thru it again, IMO putting it up may have been the right thing to do.  Make it and up 3.   Make and get fouled and make up 4.  Miss it  and make 2 FT’s and up 3.  Pull it down and look for the pass and get fouled and you get a 1-1.  That was TX 9th foul.  Turn and try to pass it out and don’t make the pass and it’s off to the races with TX in the advantage.

    Biggest problem was not stopping Ramey on the drive and leaving Jones open in the corner for the kick out.


    “but thinking thru it again, IMO putting it up may have been the right thing to do.”

    Apparently not!🙈

    Should have pulled a Hundley and slung it 40 feet in the air!😜


    To keep the discussion going, when behind at the end of a game teams foul so they get more possessions.  We weren’t going to be able to run out the clock because they were going to foul us, even if we throw it 40′ into the air.  But we would have run more time off the clock before they fouled us.  Getting time off the clock, imo, is the most important thing to do at that point.

    But it is purely speculation on my part to suggest that if we run off more time, go to the foul line and miss our shots, that somehow the game turns out differently.  Possible it does, but speculation only.

    But if we are voting and keeping tabs on the voting (I prefer mine to be a paper ballot), my vote is for passing it out.


    running the clock is important…BUT…seems to me WVU is always running down the shot clock before a shot is taken. And the “shooters” are passing up good shots. How can you getting into a rythem that way.

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Home Page forums WVU Fails To Finish, Falls To No. 4 Texas

Home Page forums WVU Fails To Finish, Falls To No. 4 Texas