Juwan Staten took over the game late in the second half and West Virginia got out of Fort Worth with a hard-fought 74-69 victory over TCU Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
Staten scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half and all nine for the Mountaineers over the last 4:07 to give West Virginia its first Big 12 victory of the season.
"He had the ball the whole time – which is what we wanted," said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. "He does a great job of getting it into the lane and getting to the basket and he's hard to stay in front of."
West Virginia's biggest lead was nine, 49-41, following a Terry Henderson basket, but the Mountaineers (9-5) couldn't shake a much-improved TCU, now 9-4.
A big moment in the game came with 6:26 remaining and the Horned Frogs trailing by three, 63-60, when Kyan Anderson was called for his fifth personal foul. Anderson came into today's contest leading TCU in scoring (16.5 ppg.) and assists (5.3 apg.).
TCU used the 3-ball to build a five-point first half lead, 28-23, and was seven-for-seven at one point from behind the arc before cooling off. Brandon Parrish was 4 for 8 from 3 and finished with 18, while 6-foot-9 forward Amric Fields knocked down s pair of triples and finished with a team-high 22 points.
"They weren't going to continue to make shots the way they made shots," said Huggins. "And I keep thinking that we're not going to continue to miss the shots that we missed."
Eron Harris, who came off the bench after missing some practice time this week with the flu, immediately made his presence felt by scoring 11 in the first half and he finished the game with 22 on 8-of-15 shooting.
However, his teammates had trouble finding the basket, going a combined 16 of 44 from the floor. West Virginia made up for it by pounding the glass, though, getting 17 offensive rebounds and holding a 38-30 edge on the backboard.
"We haven't rebounded the ball the way we need to rebound the ball and we're still not scoring it around the goal the way we need to score it around the goal, but we are rebounding it and giving ourselves chances," said Huggins.
Perhaps the biggest put-back for the Mountaineers came with 5:13 remaining when Terry Henderson followed up a missed short jumper by Remi Dibo with a big basket when the Mountaineers were leading by only three, 65-62. Henderson finished the game 10 points and seven rebounds.
Freshman Devin Williams scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Nathan Adrian contributed 9 points and six boards – most of those coming in the first half.
Today's game was determined at the foul line where West Virginia finished 19 of 28 while TCU went 10 of 17.
"The scouting report coming in was not to put them at the foul line," said Huggins. "They do a great job at the foul line so we were very cognizant of not fouling them. I think maybe a couple of our post guys didn't get the memo, but everyone else did a pretty good job of trying to stay in front and not fouling."
West Virginia led TCU 42-39 at halftime.
These two teams will play again in Morgantown on March 1.
"We still don't play through some things and we really did some dumb things," noted Huggins. "They were set up to the line with a double-bonus (free throw) when the ball is at midcourt and we're fouling post guys. That's just a dumb basketball play.
"Our recognition is still not very good," Huggins added. "They're all yelling at me in the first half, ‘They're really small. They're really small.' So we run a set to throw it close and then we don't throw it to the guy. It drives you crazy but hopefully it registers and we don't do it again."
The Mountaineers will remain in Texas and will face Texas Tech on Monday night in Lubbock in a game that will be televised on the Big 12 Network at 7 p.m.
The Red Raiders lost 73-62 to 13th-ranked Iowa State earlier today.