WVU survives in Norman

By Chris Jackson


West Virginia did just enough to survive in Norman.


Despite going cold in the second half and shooting just 27 percent in the final 20 minutes, the No. 19 Mountaineers (18-6, 7-4 Big 12) escaped with a 75-73 victory at No. 17 Oklahoma (16-7, 6-5 Big 12) to complete the season sweep of the Sooners and earn their second straight win.


Oklahoma trailed by as much as 11 points with 12:39 remaining and nearly sent the game into overtime. Trailing 75-73 in the waning moments, it was one shot away to tie the game up or get the win.


Star freshman point guard Trae Young dribbled down the court and found junior guard Rashard Odomes near the rim. He missed the layup, and WVU was safely able to pull out the big road win and the Saturday-Monday turnaround this weekend.


WVU’s biggest stretch came when redshirt sophomore Lamont West checked in. His first made shot of the game --- a three --- cut the deficit to 14-12 with 13:37 left in the first half.


West then made four more threes in a row to catapult a massive 14-0 WVU run, going ahead 26-16 and never seizing the lead, even though it nearly did at the end. Fifteen of his 17 points came before halftime, finishing with a 5-of-10 mark from the field and 5-of-9 beyond the arc.


Sophomore forward Sagaba Konate registered his sixth career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Junior forward Esa Ahmad had 14 points in his third start of the season and senior guard Jevon Carter added 10 points on 5-of-17 shooting.


The ability to contain Young’s passing was critical for the Mountaineers. Young, who scored 32 points on 10-of-20 shooting, finished with a season-low one assist and six turnovers, which comes after a then-season-low five assists in the last meeting between the two teams in January.


Although Oklahoma recorded a 45 percent shooting mark compared to WVU’s 42 percent, the Mountaineers found the advantage in most aspects of the game. They took 15 more shots, forced four more turnovers, hauled in two more rebounds, held a 15-9 edge on the offense glass and saw their bench outscore Oklahoma’s 23-10.


WVU returns to action at noon Saturday as it hosts Oklahoma State.



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