Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers (10-5, 2-0 in conference play, 3rd in the Big 12) hope to upset the Cowboys of Oklahoma State (13-2) (1-1 in conference play) Saturday in front of the loyal gold and blue fans right here in Morgantown.
The Cowboys are coming off a 13-point victory over the Texas Longhorns. Marcus Smart and Markel Brown scored a combined 51 points to lead the Cowboys past the Horns 87-74.
OSU led by just a point at halftime, but came back with a vengeance after the break. Back to back alley-oop dunks by Smart and Kamari Murphy highlighted a run that overwhelmed the Longhorns.
Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, switched to a zone defense in the second half, which worked better than expected., but what it came down to was the Cowboys hot shooting (23-50, 46 percent) and continual trips to the free throw line that were too much for the Longhorns to overcome.
Stellar sophomore guard, Marcus Smart, is clearly the man to stop. He currently leads the Cowboys in multiple statistics including scoring, (averaging 17.5 points per game) assists (4.1 per game) and steals (2.7 per game). Smart was the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2013, and passed up the NBA draft to come back to lead the Cowboys this season.
The Mountaineers outlasted the Red Raiders of Texas Tech Monday night, with a 3-point overtime win, 89-86.
Juwan Staten scored 25 points and Terry Henderson hit a big 3 with 18 seconds left to send the game into overtime at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.
WVU watched an 11-point second half lead slip away and had several miscommunications with in-bound plays in overtime, but were still able to come out on top.
"I thought we had the game going the way we wanted it to go and we stood around on defense and let them get back into the game," said Huggins. The Mountaineers will have to pick up the defensive intensity and pressure in order to handle Smart and the Cowboys, who average more than 80 points a game.
Eron Harris contributed 18 points, Henderson had 16 and Devin Williams added 12 points and 7 rebounds in the win over Texas Tech..
West Virginia shot 55.7 percent from the floor (34 of 61) and for the first time this season is five games over .500 going into the third conference game.
"Its always good to get a couple wins on the road," said Huggins. "We get to go home for a couple days and hopefully we'll have great support on Saturday," he said.
Tip-off is set for Saturday at 4p.m. at the WVU Coliseum. The game will be televised on ESPN 3.