WVU Earns First Big 12 Win

WVU Earns First Big 12 Win

It wasn't as convincing as West Virginia would've liked, but the Mountaineers earned their first Big 12 Conference victory of the season on Saturday.

WVU defeated TCU 74-69 behind strong games from sophomore guard and Big 12 leading scorer Eron Harris and freshman forward Devin Williams.

Harris, who came off the bench after dealing with the flu for much of the week, finished with a team-high 22 points. Williams had one of his best games, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

With less than seven seconds to play, junior point guard Juwan Staten hit a fast-break layup after the Mountaineers were able to withstand three straight misses on the same possession by TCU. The layup sealed the victory for the Mountainers. Staten finished with 15 points – 13 coming in the second half.

WVU was able to withstand a hot shooting start from TCU, which hit its first seven 3-pointers in the first 14 minutes of the game. The Horned Frogs were 2-of-12 from outside the rest of the contest.

In total, TCU shot 47 percent. WVU only shot 41 percent but was able to earn a lead late in the first half and hold on throughout the rest of the contest.

WVU (9-5, 1-0) could only muster a lead as big as eight in the game and had to gut out the victory over TCU (9-4, 0-1). The Mountaineers have a quick turnaround, as they face Texas Tech on Monday.

TCU struggled with foul trouble, as two players fouled out for the Horned Frogs including leading scorer and team leader Kyan Anderson with 6:25 to play. WVU, though, had foul troubles of its own, as it sent TCU to the free-throw line for one-and-one with 11:27 to play in the second half. The Horned Frogs, however, were unable to take advantage, making just 10-of-17 from the line.

WVU used a myriad of defenses and seemed to switch them up every time down the floor to try to confuse the Horned Frogs. The Mountaineers were able to pull down eight more rebounds and nine more offensive boards.

The game went back and forth throughout the contest but specifically within the first eight minutes, as there were 11 lead changes or ties in the contest.

TCU started hot, as forward Amric Fields hit a three and then a jumper and free throw to give the Horned Frogs an 8-5 lead.

Later on, Staten hit his fourth 3-pointer of the season before Harris would enter the game with 15:40 left in the first half. Harris' impact was felt, as he hit back-to-back threes to help WVU to a 17-14 advantage.

TCU kept making threes, though, as the Mountaineers just didn't have an answer defensively in the first half. Center Brandon Parrish would hit a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers of his own to give the Horned Frogs their biggest lead of the game at 28-23.

It wasn't until the 5:38 mark of the first half that TCU missed a three – its eighth attempt.

WVU would take the lead back on an ally-oop dunk by Harris from Staten to make it 36-35. Later, after TCU had tied the game at 39, freshman forward Nate Adrian hit a three – shortly after he made his first two free throws of his WVU career. That would be the last made bucket of the half, as WVU would lead 42-39 at the half despite the Horned Frogs shooting 52 percent from the field.

The Mountaineers were able to jump out to their largest lead of the game early in the second half behind some tough defending and inside shooting. Williams scored on a dunk, guard Terry Henderson on a free throw and Harris on a layup to force a TCU timeout with 15:51 to play up 47-41. Following the timeout, Henderson added a layup to make it an eight-point game.

TCU would not go away, as it scored the next five points to cut it to a one-possession game. During the stretch, Williams took an awkward tumble on a fast break that sent him to the bench.

Two free throws gave West Virginia a 56-50 lead, but the Horned Frogs were able to cut the game to one at 56-55 on free throws.

Harris hit a huge three to make it 63-58 for the Mountaineers with about seven minutes to play. TCU would follow with a jumper from Parrish, who returned to the game.

After the Mountaineers took a five-point lead, Parrish hit another three to make it 67-65. Staten took over for the rest of the game, scoring the last nine points for West Virginia.

Fields led TCU with 22 points. Parrish had 18.

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