No. 14 West Virginia Hosts Texas in a Quick Turnaround

Christopher Hall

Morgantown, WV – The No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers (14-3, 3-2) tied a season-high on the wrong side of the stats in the 84-68 loss Saturday afternoon against a Kansas State team that was looking for their first Big 12 Conference win. The 84 points were the most since the Mountaineers beat Akron 94-84 and it’s the first time West Virginia gave up 60 or more since the Big 12 opener in the 60-54 loss at Kansas.

Offensively, the Mountaineers played around their statistical average, which wasn’t great, to begin with. West Virginia was shooting just 43.4% from the field on the season, they shot 44.6% and was slightly below their three-point average of 30.3% to 27.3% on the day.

Despite the offensive woes, Miles “Deuce” McBride finished the game with 11 points marking it the eighth-straight game he has scored in double figures.

Although the offense has struggled this year, it’s been West Virginia’s defense that had them approaching the top 10 and in the conversation of Big 12 title possibilities. The Mountaineers were holding their opponents to 35.0% shooting including 23.8%, ranking them near the top of those categories respectively.

That same defense that prided themselves on effort and energy was absent on Saturday, and as a result, Kansas State went 59% (29-49) from the field and 50% (9-18) from behind the arc in the 16-point drubbing.

It was a resemblance to the loss that West Virginia suffered earlier in the year at St John’s with West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins uttering the same words “We weren’t ready”. However, West Virginia was able to bounce back five days later in a home win over Austin Peay. The Mountaineers suffered their second loss on the season to Kansas and was able to bounce back just two days later at Oklahoma State, but the Kansas loss was due to the offensive liabilities rather than effort.

West Virginia needs to regroup quickly as the Texas Longhorns (12-5, 2-3) roll into town Monday night, a Longhorn program that leads the all-time series 8-11 and has won the last three meetings.

West Virginia and Texas have three common Big 12 opponents in Kansas State, Kansas, and Oklahoma State. Texas is 2-1 in those games with wins over K-State and OSU, with their most recent loss coming to Kansas at home on Saturday, while the Mountaineers sit at 1-2 with the only win coming against Oklahoma State.

The Longhorns find their success from the three-point line. They’re first in the Big 12 and sixth in the NCAA in three-point attempts. Nonetheless, Texas is only hitting 33.8% from deep.

Matt Coleman (Jr. G 6-2, 185) leads Texas in scoring (12.0), assists (4.3), steals (1.6) and three-point percentage (43.5%).

Courtney Ramey (So. G 6-3 185) is averaging 11.1 points per game and Jase Febres (Jr. G 6-5, 195 - 10.1 ppg) rounds out the trio of starting guards, while Andrew Jones (So. G 6-4, 185) comes off the bench averaging 10.6 per game, although his average is slightly down during Big 12 play at 7.6.

Jericho Sims (Jr. F 6-9 240) leads the Longhorn frontcourt averaging 11.8 points during Big 12 play and is coming off a career-high 20 points per game.

West Virginia and Texas are set to tip-off at 7:00 pm on ESPNU with Rich Hollenberg and King McClure on the call.