GAME PREVIEW: WVU hosts TCU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

GAME PREVIEW: WVU hosts TCU

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Morgan Farr, MORGANTOWN -

The two conference foes will battle for only the fourth time in program history Saturday. West Virginia leads the all-time series, 3-0, after dropping the Frogs twice last season and earlier this year.

 

In their only meeting in Morgantown, the Mountaineers turned back TCU with a 71-50 decision last January.  TCU (9-8, 0-15 in Big 12) is coming off a loss to Oklahoma State 76-54 in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

On Monday, freshman Karviar Shepherd posted his second-straight and fourth career double-double, scoring 11 points, while grabbing 10 boards against Oklahoma State. The freshman, who has now scored in double-figures in three-straight conference games, tallied his third double-double during conference play this season, having done so at Oklahoma (12 points, 11 rebounds) and versus Iowa State (14 points, 15 rebounds)    

West Virginia (15-3, 7-8 in Big 12) is coming off a disappointing road loss to Number 15 Iowa State in Ames, Iowa on Wednesday night 83-66. The Cyclones are heading into March as one of the hottest teams in the country and they have their depth to thank for that.

 

Georges Niang scored 24 points, DeAndre Kane had 17 and 11 rebounds for Iowa State's seventh win in eight games. Naz Long had 15 points on 5 three pointers off the bench for the Cyclones which helped propel Iowa State after Melvin Ejim got into some early foul trouble.

 

Juwan Staten had 19 points and Eron Harris added 15, but West Virginia came up short and dropped their third straight game. With NCAA tournament time approaching, the Mountaineers have an uphill battle to face.

 

West Virginia guard Terry Henderson, who averages 12.1 points, missed his second straight game with an undisclosed illness. Henderson's absence stung the Mountaineers, who shot 35.8 percent from the field and 5 of 20 from 3-point range. Gary Browne was just 1-of-9 from the field in 28 minutes.

 

"I'm not making excuses for us. But you take Terry out of the lineup. There's a guy who shot 40-something percent from 3 last year in Big 12 play," Head Coach Bob Huggins, said. "The difference in the game was they made shots. We didn't."

 

But there is hope for the Mountaineers. WVU is 23-14 in March under Bob Huggins. WVU is 38-21 in its last 59 games in the month of March. TCU is still winless in the Big 12 conference, and after them the Mountaineers face Oklahoma whom they upset earlier this season, and then Kansas at home.

 

Nobody in the Big 12 has played more minutes than Staten's 1,051 (and counting). And nobody in the league this year has reached 500 points, 150 assists and 150 rebounds faster than Juwan Staten has. In fact nobody in West Virginia University basketball history has ever reached those numbers.

 

WVU has won 95 of its last 120 games against unranked teams, including 48 of its last 55 at the WVU Coliseum.

 

Tip off is set for 1p.m. at the WVU Coliseum and the game will be televised locally on Root Sports.

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