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OU Basketball: No. 15 Oklahoma Overcomes Slow Start to Blow Past West Virginia

Jalon Moore got Oklahoma into gear as the Sooners snapped a two-game losing streak in Big 12 play, holding serve at home against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

NORMAN — Oklahoma shook off the malaise of a tough week in Big 12 play — eventually.

The Sooners started slow on Wednesday night against West Virginia, turning the ball over seven times in the first 11 minutes, but eventually recovered to pull away from the Mountaineers.

No. 15 OU snapped a two game losing skid, beating West Virginia 77-63 at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Oklahoma (14-3, 2-2 Big 12) moved back to .500 in conference play after dropping a pair of road games to TCU and Kansas last week, dropping West Virginia to 6-11 overall and 1-3 in the league in the process.

“It’s huge. You’ve got to take one at a time,” OU coach Porter Moser said after the win. “… We needed a win tonight to stop the bleeding.”

Final Box Score

Final Box Score

The early slog was broken when Jalon Moore finally sparked the Lloyd Noble Center deep into the first half.

The 6-foot-7 forward started a 12-2 run, first by knocking down a pair of free throws and then he followed that up by barreling into the lane and throwing the ball down over a crowd of yellow jerseys off a West Virginia turnover.

He wasn’t done, either.

Moore then picked Patrick Suemnick’s pocket on the next possession, running the floor and delivering an assist to Luke Northweather as Moore lost his footing under the basket.

By the time the dust had settled, Moore helped Oklahoma erase a 18-12 deficit to put the Sooners up 24-20.

“He got the dunk… He got deflections,” Moser said. “He got rebounds. He got a big offensive rebound. He’s just all over.

“… His energy was contagious and I thought he did a nice job with that. Really helped us.”

Oklahoma carried that momentum for the rest of the half to take a four point advantage into the locker room where the team could reset after an otherwise sloppy first 20 minutes of action.

A balanced scoring attack helped the Sooners pull away in the second half.

Rivaldo Soares, who endured a mini-shooting slump coming off the bench for OU over the past week, hit a pair of 3’s and John Hugley IV got to the free throw line six times to add easy points to the cause.

Moore finished as Oklahoma’s leading scorer, slamming down another pair of emphatic dunks to bring his total to 16 points, five rebounds and two assists.

Soares also scored double figures, ending with 13 points and three boards. Otega Oweh rebounded from a rough shooting start to add 12 points and 10 rebounds and Javian McCollum hit a bevy of free throws at the end to close out his 13-point night.

Milos Uzan and Hugley also chipped in eight points ad the Sooners shot 49 percent from the floor as a team.

The Sooners also dominated the battle on the boards, pulling down 33 rebounds to West Virginia’s 19 on the night.

“We were really physical on our box-outs,” Moser said. “We gave up three offensive rebounds — and I bet you those were early. I bet you those were early. So that was big for us to be able to rebound them. You’ve got to do that in this league every night.”

Oklahoma’s return to the Lloyd Noble Center was short lived as Moser will take his team on the road this weekend.

The Sooners travel to Big 12 newcomer Cincinnati on Saturday at 12 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.