MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - When WVU men’s basketball played at Texas Jan. 5, it trailed by six at halftime and was within one possession of the lead in the closing moments.
Saturday, West Virginia faced a similar halftime deficit, but the end result was much, much worse.
The Mountaineer defense was seemingly non-existent at times in the final 20 minutes, allowing Texas to run away with a 75-53 victory. The Longhorns shot 53 percent in the second half and led by as many as 29.
“I probably shouldn’t say it, but they’re more talented than we are, and so we have to do things right, and we didn’t do things right,” said head coach Bob Huggins. “And when you aren’t as talented, and you don’t do things right, it’s not going to be a good outcome for you. We’ve always been fine because we have done things right.”
That six-point halftime deficit for WVU quickly turned into a 25-point one. Texas opened the second half on a 26-7 spurt in the first 9:13. That span included a 12-0 Longhorns run.
As the Texas lead continued to grow, a slam dunk clinic broke out late, as seven of Texas’ 17 second half field goals were rim-rattlers. A jam by Jericho Sims with 5:13 to play allowed the Longhorns to extend their advantage to a game-high 29 points.
“That’s embarrassing,” said Huggins. “I was embarrassed. I’m not sure our guys were embarrassed, but I was embarrassed.”
Texas shot 45 percent from the field in the contest, while WVU was held to 35 percent shooting. The Mountaineers are now 1-9 this season when they shoot 40 percent or worse. They’re also 0-10 this season when trailing at halftime.
Courtney Ramey led all players in scoring with 19 points. Kerwin Roach added 14 points for Texas on 6-10 shooting.
Senior forward Esa Ahmad led WVU in scoring with 14 points. Junior guard James “Beetle” Bolden missed his fourth straight game with a high ankle sprain.
Junior forward Logan Routt played two minutes and scored two points. He was suspended for the first half of the game following his ejection against Texas Tech.
The Mountaineers (10-14, 2-9) now have a week off before their meeting with Kansas Feb. 16 in Lawrence. Since beating the Jayhawks last month, WVU is 1-5.