In the Mountaineers’ loss to Kansas State, Henderson’s streak of five-straight games of scoring in double figures came to a screeching halt. The sophomore guard scored just two points while only making one of his eight attempts from the field.
“That was probably the worst game of the season for me,” he said. “I just knew I had to bounce back and come out and play harder than I did. Just come out in attack mode more than I did at Kansas State.”
And he did just that, making 10 of his 13 field goal attempts en route to a career-high 28 points to lead the Mountaineers to an 87-81 victory against Texas Tech that not only got Henderson back on the right track individually but also stopped West Virginia’s three-game losing streak just in time to get the team more confidence heading into its most difficult stretch of games of the season.
With eight of its next nine games coming against ranked opponents, WVU will need Henderson and the rest of the Mountaineers’ guards to come out firing the way they did Wednesday in order to have success.
But Henderson admitted that, although he played well and looked totally different than he did against the Wildcats, he didn’t change anything he did when the Red Raiders came to Morgantown.
“I shot the ball with confidence, played with confidence and just tried to help my team as much as possible. I’m just glad we won,” Henderson said.
Following Saturday’s struggles, Henderson said he spent a lot of time reflecting on what he could have done better and what he needed to do in order to improve. That reflection came in the form of praying, speaking with his father and with the Mountaineer coaching staff and then putting everything into action by getting back in the gym to get as many shots up as he possibly could.
The difference heading into Wednesday’s game was quite noticeable.
“Terry was playing with ultimate confidence. We needed that,” said sophomore guard Eron Harris. “He helped us out a lot.”
That’s not to say it was a surprise to many though, but even his coach said after the game that he was impressed with the way Henderson was able to bounce back – as he outdueled Texas Tech sharpshooter Dusty Hannahs and his 25 points to lead the way for the Mountaineers.
“Terry’s a great kid. He wants to do right, but I’d be lying if I told you he’d go 10-fo-13 and score 28. I knew he would do better though,” said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.
Leading up to the game, he also spent time studying great shooters and what they did in order to come back after bad games. The result of his studies actually showed a fairly simple solution.
“Ray Allen and guys like that, those guys are always looking at the next shot and not the last one,” Henderson said. “That’s something I’ve needed to work on.”
Henderson could feel a change coming before the game as the Mountaineers were going through their warmups. His confidence slowly started to build as the game got closer with every shot that went in. He could sense a turnaround coming.
“You just hope your pregame shots can translate over to the game,” Henderson said. “I tried to get down in the lane, and they stripped me. I need to get the defense moving more. I tried to fix it more in the second half.
“I just wanted to go out there, do my job and get the win.”