Alonzo J. Adams-USA TODAY Sports
The West Virginia University men's basketball team was defeated on Saturday by Oklahoma State's perimeter shooting, 80-66.
Phil Forte is a 5'11 freshman guard that averages 11 points a game. This game against a poor perimeter defense from WVU, Forte goes off with five minutes until the end of the first half and continues the rest of the game finishing with 26 points going 6-11 from three. The other guard going damage against the Mountaineers was Markel Brown who ended with 24 points shooting 4-6 from beyond the arc. This certainly tells the story from the second half, but the game started much differently.
West Virginia controlled the game during the first 15 minutes leading 24-11, the highest lead the Mountaineers could withstand before Forte's first three pointer. WVU was out-rebounding, out-shooting, and down right tenacious on defense during the majority of the first half, but Oklahoma State seemed to be missing several open three pointers. Coach Huggins could not plug the holes on the outside and, almost inevitably, the Cowboys eventually started hitting them. OSU goes on a 19-3 run to end the first half with leading by three. This run was fueled by three Phil Forte bombs along with WVU misfires including five turnovers, three fouls, and five missed shots. While there were several things to build on going into half time, the momentum carried over between the break and Oklahoma State, at one point, was... well...
That pretty much sums it up. The wheels fell off in the first half. WVU looked like a completely different team and, as I mentioned in the preview, the only thing that the Mountaineers are truly consistent is being inconsistent. It's always something with this team that enables them to lose the game, and this time it was perimeter defense.
While there were things to build on, if WVU has a similar performance on Monday against Kansas, we might see some Coliseum records shattered.