Before today, West Virginia was 0-4 against Oklahoma State since joining the Big 12. The Cowboys were the only conference team yet to face defeat against the Mountaineers.
The streak is over.
Led by huge performances from senior guards Gary Browne and Juwan Staten, #23 West Virginia (21-6) pulled away in the second half from #22 Oklahoma State (17-10) 73-63 on Saturday afternoon in Stillwater.
West Virginia again got off to a sluggish start, making only one of their first nine field goal attempts and falling behind 13-4. Press Virginia then got cranked up, and a 9-0 Mountaineer run aided by three Cowboy turnovers tied the game at 13.
Juwan Staten picked up his second offensive foul with 8:40 to go in the first half, and only played 11 of the first 20 minutes. West Virginia was able to weather the storm, thanks in large part to two huge threes from BillyDee Williams, and the game was tied at 25 at the break.
Unlike the past two games, it was West Virginia that made a run to begin the second half. Shots were falling, the ball was moving efficiently, and the Mountaineers started the second half on a 16-6 run to take a 41-31 lead with 13 minutes to go. From that point, they were able to keep the lead between 8 and 14, ultimately winning by 10.
Oklahoma State tried to give West Virginia a taste of their own medicine by pressing for much of the second half, but senior guards Staten & Browne were able to navigate the Mountaineers through the pressure.
Juwan Staten led West Virginia with 22 points and 7 assists. Gary Browne had a huge day, scoring 18 points and grabbing 8 rebounds - 5 on the offensive end. Devin Williams finished with 9 points and 12 rebounds. BillyDee Williams and Daxter Miles each finished with 6 on 2-2 from three.
Le'Bryan Nash led Oklahoma State with 12. Anthony Hickey and Michael Cobbins each had 11. West Virginia did a nice job all day keeping sharpshooter Phil Forte from getting open looks, and he only finished with 10.
West Virginia improves to 9-5 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State is now under .500 at 7-8.
The Mountaineers had one of their best games of the year from behind the arc. West Virginia made 10-20 from three and 19-47 overall for 40.4%. They out-rebounded Oklahoma State 37-20 overall and 18-4 in offensive boards.
- Starters: WVU - Staten, Browne, Miles, Holton, Williams. OSU - Forte, Hickey, Nash, Cobbins, Newberry.
- Brandon Watkins participated in warmups but did not enter the game.
- There were lots of folks complaining on Twitter about the OU/Texas Tech game running long, and the first 10ish minutes of WVU/Okie State were only on WatchESPN. FYI: WatchESPN is now available to DirecTV subscribers.
- Interesting tidbit: Outside of today, West Virginia's only win over Oklahoma State came in December 1958 by a score of 67-49. The Mountaineers would go on to play for the national championship that season, losing by 1 to California.
Up next for the Mountaineers is a February 24th game against the Texas Longhorns in Morgantown. Texas crushed West Virginia in their first contest 77-50 in Austin. The Mountaineers are 3-6 all-time against the Longhorns and have lost the last four. The game tips at 7:00 PM and will be televised by ESPN2 and streamed on the WatchESPN app.