Three Keys For A Mountaineer Victory Over Oklahoma State
On Tuesday evening, the Mountaineers will look to halt a three game losing skid as they return home after a tough road loss to the Baylor Bears, to host the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. EST and will be televised on ESPN2.
Oklahoma State is just one game above .500 as their record is 13-12 and their Big 12 conference record is second to last with a 3-9 record in conference play. The Cowboys will do whatever it takes to make a last minute run at the NCAA tournament and a road win versus a ranked West Virginia team would look great on their resume.
The Mountaineers can't seem to win on the road, so they will have to take advantage of being home in front of their fans and if they can follow these three keys, they should be able to bounce back from their losing streak.
1. Make shots
I feel like this will be the number one point of emphasis for the remainder of the season. Like I had mentioned in the three key's article for the Baylor game, West Virginia is shooting just 30% from the three-point line, and if that holds up, would go down as the worst shooting year in the entire history of West Virginia basketball. The Mountaineers are also shooting just a mediocre 64% from the free throw line, which is second to last in the Big 12. West Virginia will have to shoot better if they want to finish the season strong and make a run in March.
2. Control The Paint
Oklahoma State has won three of their last four games by putting effort into getting the ball inside. Before the last four games, the Cowboys were attempting 21 three pointers per game, but lowered that to just thirteen per game over the past few games because of their success in the paint. In the last week or so, Oklahoma State has shot 45.4% from the field and 54.6% from inside the painted area. They have drawn more fouls and have gone to the line more frequently in those games. They also increased their rebounding and second-chance points over that stretch. Look for the Cowboys to keep this up and attack the Mountaineer big men to try and get them into foul trouble early. If West Virginia can force the Cowboys to shoot more from outside and limit their inside scoring, the Mountaineers should slow down Oklahoma State's offense.
3. Feed Off the Home Crowd
It is no secret that the Mountaineers are having their struggles on the road. In fact, Mountaineer Maven has written about it a lot over the past few weeks.
On the road, this team has looked like a "lose in the Round of 32" team, but at home they have looked like a "this team can make it to the Final Four" team. The Mountaineers have lost just one game at home this season and will look to sustain their success in the Coliseum. Three Cowboy seniors, Lindy Waters III, Cameron McGriff, and Thomas Dziagwa, are 3-0 against West Virginia in Morgantown during their college careers. The Cowboys are also the only Big 12 team to have a winning record at the Coliseum.
If you cannot watch the game on Tuesday evening but will have access to your phone, there is no reason to worry. Before every game, Mountaineer Maven has posted a "Game Thread" where our Mountaineer Maven team and West Virginia fans can comment and interact with each other. *Note: don't follow/comment on the thread through Facebook/Twitter comments, but through the actual article itself* Let's help each other out by commenting as much as possible for those who can't watch and keep them posted play by play and score by score.
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page. Also be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook - @WVUonSI