WVU Advances to Semis with Win over Texas - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Advances to Semis with 63-53 Win over Texas

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Jevon Carter finished with 21 points as WVU defeats Texas 63-53 in the quarterfinals. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle) Jevon Carter finished with 21 points as WVU defeats Texas 63-53 in the quarterfinals. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

A 21–point performance by Jevon Carter lead the 2nd-seeded Mountaineers to a 63-53 victory over 10th-seeded Texas in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship.

He provided a first half spark with a string of three’s. He went 4-of-6 from the arc and 5-of-8 from the field in the first half, tallying 16 points at the break. He finished off the half with a pair from the charity stripe to give WVU a 39-30 lead.

Tarik Phillip started WVU off with a 3-pointer and Daxter Miles Jr. followed, sparking an early 12-0 run.

Sagaba Konate brought the crowd to its feet with a slam followed by a big block at the other end as the Mountaineers jumped out 20-13 at the 12 minute mark.

From there Texas would take over momentum, at least for a few possessions. Jarrett Allen with the tomahawk dunk followed by triples from Jones and Davis to take a one-point lead.

Failed trips to the line and poor shooting were the two story lines for Texas in the first half. It only shot 39.3% from the field and 46.2% from the line in the first half, and both of those numbers decreased in the second.

"West Virginia is known to be playing hard and aggressive. That's their MO and their style of play as a team. At certain points of the game, them being overly aggressive on us, and on the bigs, took us out of our offense a little bit," Texas guard Andrew Evans said.

It was a 10-1 run by the Mountaineers that closed the half with a 9-point advantage.

They would come out of the locker room on a tear, forcing Texas into a five-second violation on the first possession.

At the 16:17 mark, the Mountaineers went up 45-34 thanks to a Daxter Miles Jr. one hand slam, which brought over half of the Sprint Center to it’s feet. Konate followed up with his typical move – a dunk – off the Carter steal, sparking a “Let’s Go Mountaineers” chant that echoed through the arena.

But much like Thursday’s win over Texas Tech, the Longhorns would crank up the energy late. Jones swiped it in the backcourt from Phillip and took it to the hoop, building a 9-0 run and trimming the deficit to 49-43 with under 10 minutes to go.

Nate Adrian came up with a steal by the WVU bench and dished to a wide open Carter at the top of the key, giving WVU a 57-48 with 6:36 to go, and it would never look back.

"We did a good job on the press. Guys were getting the handle on the ball. Nate did what he does. He came up with the steal, saved it to me, I caught it, and noticed I was wide open and just shot it in," Carter said, recalling the play.

No other Mountaineer reached double-figure scoring in the win. Nate Adrian helped with six points and nine rebounds, Elijah Macon added 10 rebounds and eight points, and Tarik Phillip contriuted six.

The second was sloppy for WVU, and lucky, the same statement also applied to the Longhorns. The Mountaineers shot 28.6% from the field in the second half, compared to 57.7% in the first. They also went 10-of-20 from the free throw line. WVU did force 14 turnovers, but it committed 13 of its own.

"We obviously didn't play very well today. Didn't shoot it very well from the free throw line. Didn't make layups. They've been a good group to coach because they do want to win. You think about the way we play. We had three guys play 30 minutes which I didn't really want to do, or over 30 minutes, but we play a lot of people," Coach Huggins said.

Andrew Jones was the key contributor for the Longhorns, he finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Jarrett Allen threw down some key dunks, providing energy for UT. He finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds.

"We got a lot of open looks that didn't go in. It's hard to be aggressive defending free throws, and we shot under 50% from the foul line," Texas Head Coach Shaka Smart said. "I think some of the possessions where we turned the ball over or forced up a bad shot, those are the ones where obviously we were really impacted by West Virginia and the way they defended."

Before West Virginia and Texas took the floor, TCU stunned top-seeded Kansas 85-82 to earn its spot in Friday’s semifinals.

"Honestly, we didn't really pay too much attention to what other teams are doing. It's about us. We just take it one game at a time, you know," Carter said when asked if that previous quarterfinal added any extra motivation. "You can't play the next game unless you win the current game, so that was just a message to the team, like, just focus on this game and whatever happens after that is going to happen."

The Mountaineers will face No. 6 seed Kansas State tomorrow night at 9 p.m. with a trip to the title game on the line.

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