The Texas Longhorns (13-4 overall, 8th in Big 12) just picked up their first conference win over Texas Tech, 67-64. Cameron Ridley made two free throws and a big defensive play in the final 35 seconds to seal the victory for Texas on Saturday night.
Texas trailed by one, when Ridley altered a shot and hustled down the floor for an offensive rebound, before being fouled. His two free throws put the Longhorns ahead 65-64 with 31 seconds left.
Texas desperately needed the win after starting 0-5 in conference play last season and trailing off into its first losing season in 15 seasons.
Isaiah Taylor scored 14 points to lead the Longhorns. Three of their starters, Ridley, Thomas Holmes, and Demarcus Holland played just eight minutes or less in the first half, due to foul trouble.
The West Virginia Mountaineers (10-6 overall), 2-1 in conference play) are coming off a heartbreaking, one point loss to Oklahoma State Saturday, (73-72) in front of a season high 12,000 fans in Morgantown. The Mountaineers have now dropped 15 straight games to ranked opponents.
Markel Brown’s 3-point field goal with 15 seconds left put the Cowboys up 1, and gave the Mountaineers one last chance. Juwan Staten’s shot attempt while driving to the basket hit off the side of the rim and freshman Devin Williams was unable to put back the miss.
This pattern seems all too common for Mountaineer fans. All six of West Virginia’s defeats this season have been by 10 points or less and the last three games have been agonizingly close.
“Two greatest emotions in the world, winning and losing. I don’t like this emotion,” said head coach Bob Huggins.
Terry Henderson finished with a season high 21 points, while Staten added 20. Williams scored 12 and pulled down a personal-best 13 rebounds. West Virginia’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Eron Harris, had an off night, finishing with 11 points on 3 of 11 shooting.
“Its just a couple of technical things we need to get over. We are growing. We are just going to move on to the next game, because every game in this conference is going to be tough for us. There is no use in moping about this game,” said Harris after the loss.
On a positive note, WVU has won 92 of its last 114 games vs. unranked teams, 46 of the last 51 at the Coliseum.
“We are close,” said Huggins. “Our problem is we have a whole bunch of freshman who don’t understand that when you stop playing hard that people take advantage of you. When you stop playing hard then they do that,” said Huggins.
All five meetings between WVU and Texas have been decided by 4 points or less. Bob Huggins, the Mountaineers, and their loyal fans are hungry for another conference win.
Tip-off is set for 7p.m. Monday night at the Coliseum. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.