Another Close Loss

Staff Writer
Posted Jan 11, 2014


Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown hit a three with 11.6 seconds to play, and No. 11 Oklahoma State narrowly defeated West Virginia 73-72 at the Coliseum.

After a timeout, WVU had a chance to pull the upset. Junior point guard Juwan Staten drove to the lane, spun and put up a shot that went long. Freshman forward Devin Williams got his hand on the ball but couldn’t put it back into the hoop allowing the Cowboys to escape.

"We got the shot we wanted," Staten said.

WVU head coach Bob Huggins said: "I don’t know why the ball didn’t go in. I don’t know why we didn’t tip it in when it didn’t go in. If it goes it, we’re sitting here talking about how far we’ve come." Guard Terry Henderson led the Mountaineers with 21 points including a three that gave West Virginia a two-point lead with 1:14 to play.

"Terry has been getting better and better. He was hurt early and was behind. He works and listens. He’s always made shots and he’s got good bounce. He’s got to be able to get some rebounds and block some shots," Huggins said.

Staten had 20 points and eight assists for West Virginia, though he would’ve liked those last two the most.

"We’re trying to win games. Wanny is trying to win games. I wish everyone else would follow suit sometimes," Huggins said.

Sophomore guard Eron Harris had a very disappointing game. He finished with 11 points but was 3-of-11 from the field and sat out most of the end of the game.

"We gave 120 percent effort, but there were just a couple of technical things that we're going to get over," Harris said. "We're growing, and we're just going to move on to the next game."

Oklahoma State all-American Marcus Smart was as advertised. He finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds and was almost impossible to stop. Forward Le’Bryan Nash had 18 points, and Brown added 12.

West Virginia shot 41.4 percent for the game but struggled some in the second half after a very strong first 20 minutes. In fact, WVU made just seven shots from the field in the second half. Oklahoma State hit 45 percent of its shots.

"We're just going to have to learn from these games," Henderson said. "We've got to come in and work everyday. We weren't as focused in practice this week as we were in previous practices."

WVU has a quick turnaround, as it takes on Texas Monday at the Coliseum.

The crowd gave West Virginia the early spark, as it would go up 10-4. Still, Smart was basically unstoppable, as most NBA lottery picks are. He had five of Oklahoma State’s first seven points en route to cutting the Mountaineers’ lead to 10-7.

West Virginia would continue to lead until four straight points from the Cowboys tied the game at 24. Harris would score his first points right after on a wide-open three. Henderson would follow with a nice drive and pull-up layup to take a 29-24 lead.

That would spark an 8-0 run to give WVU its largest lead of the game of eight at 32-24 with 7:34 to play.

Oklahoma State would climb back to tie it up again at 39 on a three from guard Phil Forte. Williams would score with under two seconds to play in the first half to give West Virginia a 41-39 lead at the half.

After not leading at all during the first half, the Cowboys took their first lead early in the second half on a three from Smart to make it 46-43. WVU started 0-for-6 from the field in the second half until Harris hit an acrobatic putback layup to cut the OSU lead to 47-45.

The Mountaineers would regain the lead with a three from Henderson, however shortly after Oklahoma State would go up 54-52 on a 3-pointer from Forte.

WVU was playing catch up from that point on, as the Mountaineers just couldn’t keep the Cowboys off the board.

An inbounds mistake by WVU was bookended by free throws and a jumper for OSU to give the Cowboys their biggest lead of the game at 62-57.

A three from Smart gave OSU a 67-62 advantage, but a three from Henderson and a nifty drive and layup from Staten tied the game with less than 4:30 to play.

Staten dished a beauty of a pass to Williams for a layup to cut the Cowboys’ lead to one at 70-69. Following that, Forte missed a wide-open three and allowed West Virginia to get the ball with under two minutes to play with the chance to take the lead.

Henderson drained a contested three to give the Mountaineers the lead back for the first time since early on in the second half at 72-70 with 1:14 to play.

After a timeout by OSU, freshman forward Nate Adrian forced a tie up and gave the ball back to the Mountaineers. On the other end, Staten missed a contested layup at the end of the shot clock.

Oklahoma State got the ball back with 25.7 seconds to play. That’s when Brown would hit the three and give the Cowboys the win.

"They tried to go inside. I know we jumped and left our feet again, which left him open," Huggins said.

Williams finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Mountaineers – another double-double for the young player.

WVU outrebounded Oklahoma State by three.

A total of 12,078 fans watched the game at the Coliseum. It was a "Stripe the Coliseum" game.



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