No. 16 West Virginia beats No. 18 Oklahoma 86-65


West Virginia Uses Defense To Beat Oklahoma

The West Virginia Mountaineers kept up the pressure defense throughout the game to beat Oklahoma 86-65.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia's reserves kept pouring in the points, and No. 18 Oklahoma could do little but watch.

The 16th-ranked Mountaineers' bench, outscored in their previous two games, amassed a season-high 55 points in an 86-65 win over the sloppy Sooners on Tuesday night.

West Virginia put aside a close loss to No. 11 Iowa State on Saturday night with an emphatic performance from the opening tipoff against Oklahoma.

Eleven different players scored for the Mountaineers (15-2, 3-1 Big 12). The previous high from West Virginia's bench this season was 35 points.

Reserve Jevon Carter led the way with 18 points. Devin Williams added 14 points and 11 rebounds while reserve Nathan Adrian scored a season-high 11.

"That's our whole style of ball," Carter said. "We go 11 or 12 deep on our bench. When guys get tired, we can bring in teammates who bring the same amount of energy and intensity to the game.

"We knew Oklahoma didn't have a lot of depth, so that was our goal to get them real tired early."

West Virginia's full-court press contributed to a season-high 22 turnovers for the Sooners. It marked the most points allowed by Oklahoma this season. The previous high was 69 on two occasions, also losses.

"The game was dictated from start to finish by West Virginia," said Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger. "They were definitely the aggressor."

Buddy Hield scored 21 and Isaiah Cousins added 14 for Oklahoma (11-5, 2-2), which has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.

West Virginia's starting guard tandem of Juwan Staten and Gary Browne combined for seven points. Staten, the Big 12's fourth-leading scorer and conference preseason player of the year, didn't score until there was 6:37 left in the game. He finished with four points, nearly 13 under his average.

On this rare occasion, at least, West Virginia didn't need them.

The Mountaineers never trailed. It jumped ahead by 13 at halftime and by as many as 24 late in the game.

Adrian provided the early spark and Carter came on strong late. Adrian, who went scoreless in his two previous games, hit his first 3-pointer since Dec. 4, a span of nine games.

"I've been trying a little harder on my game," said Adrian, a sophomore. "I know I can play. I tried to be more active tonight. It seems like you can think straighter when you start making shots."

The Mountaineers finished the first half with a 10-0 run to lead 45-32.

Despite picking up four quick fouls early in the second half, West Virginia stayed aggressive on defense, getting several steals that led to baskets. Elijah Macon's layup off an Adrian miss gave the Mountaineers a 60-40 lead with 12:53 remaining.

Oklahoma, which earlier had trimmed the deficit to 12, then went nearly eight minutes between field goals.

"I thought our ball pressure was very, very good," said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. "Our pressure had a cumulative effect. I don't think that some of their guys were as effective at the end."

Carter had 14 points in the second half, including 3-pointers 21 seconds apart for an 84-61 lead with 3:31 left.


Oklahoma: The Sooners were outrebounded 42-35 and attempted 18 fewer shots than West Virginia.

West Virginia: Huggins earned his 755th career win to tie Oklahoma State Hall of Fame coach Henry Iba for 13th on the all-time Division I list. Western Kentucky's Ed Diddle is 12th with 759 wins.


Oklahoma: Hosts No. 24 Oklahoma State on Saturday.

West Virginia: Plays at No. 20 Texas on Saturday.