West Virginia was outscored by 22 points after it took a 12-point lead with 17:58
to play in the game, but the Mountaineers basically gave the game away – especially late.
“Today we got outmanned,” said head coach Bob Huggins of his team, which lost its first Big 12 Conference game and fell to 7-6 on the season. “They just outmanned us.”
WVU didn’t score a basket in the final 5:44.
Despite 18 first-half points from WVU freshman guard Terry Henderson and 21 overall – including six threes – the Mountaineers couldn’t find a way to score consistently in the final minutes.
“It’s frustrating, because I’m a winner. I will do whatever it takes to win. I really wanted to win that game. It was our first Big 12 game, home opener in conference play, packed crowd. What more do you ask for?” Henderson said.
No other West Virginia player scored more than 11 points.
It was the second loss of the season for the Mountaineers to the Sooners, which played in November. The two teams will play again in March in Norman, Okla.
Player of the Game
7-of-14 from the field
When the Mountaineers were down by six points, they turned the ball over twice without even getting a shot – the first coming after a timeout from Huggins.
“I really feel like one got away today. We had the game won, and it came down to the last six minutes, and we collapsed,” said point guard Juwan Staten. “This one feels a little worse than our other losses. We had the game won, but we gave it up.”
WVU shot just 30 percent for the game. Oklahoma shot 44.3 percent. The Mountaineers made just even shots in the second half and only seven shots from inside the arc in the entire game. The Sooners had a 30-10 advantage in the paint.
WVU was outrebounded by one despite having a seven-rebound advantage when it took its 12-point lead early in the second half.
The Mountaineers’ bench, which has played well this season, finished with just four points. Guards Gary Browne and Eron Harris were a combined 1-for-16.
WVU center Aaric Murray scored eight of the team’s first 11 points. He didn’t score in the second half, however and played just 24 minutes.
WVU would hold a 35-29 lead at the half, as Henderson capped off his best half of his career with a reverse layup with eight seconds to play. West Virginia finished the half on an 11-2 run.
WVU was just 2-of-12 from inside the arc in the first half. Oklahoma made nine more shots in that area. The Mountaineers made nine threes in the first 20 minutes.
West Virginia outrebounded Oklahoma 21-17 in the first half.
In the second half, WVU continued its strong shooting from the final 10 minutes of the first half, as it jumped out to a 43-31 lead forcing a timeout by Oklahoma. Henderson drained his sixth three of the contest in that run.
After that timeout, the Sooners would make their run, and WVU had no answer. It played a matchup 2-3 zone, 1-3-1 zone and tried many different lineups, but by the end of the game, Oklahoma had wore down the Mountaineers once again.