West Virginia controlled the first half with the press forcing 12 turnovers out of the Longhorns over the first 15 minutes of the game. This coupled with the Mountaineers shooting 58% during that session lead to a 33-18 lead with three minutes to go. One important key kept Texas in the game: when they did get to run their offensive set, it was very effective. During the first 20 minutes, the Longhorns shot an insane 73.3% (11-15) from the field to keep them in the game. At the final portion of the half, the Horns were able to get a 10-2 run going before a bit of a mix up came with 20 seconds left. Devin Williams sets a backscreen on Jonathan Holmes and clearly bumps him. Holmes returns the favor with a elbow to Williams' chin which causes words to be exchanged after the play. The officials reviewed the sequence and made the decision that Holmes' elbow was violent enough to be considered a Flagrant 2 foul, thus ejecting the senior forward and leaving Texas without a 10 point/6 rebound starter who already had hit two threes. The Mountaineers went into the half with a lead of 36-25.
Texas did not let this set back affect them one bit coming out of the half. They continue their hot shooting while the Mountaineers regressed to the mean. The Longhorns got it as close as two points 40-38 before West Virginia stopped the bleeding and quickly stretched the lead back to double digits. As the second half wore on, Texas was able to continue to chip away at the West Virginia lead. That effort was fruitless as WVU was able to sink free throws down the stretch and lock up the win despite late game antics.
With this win, West Virginia is able to keep the pressure on Kansas and Iowa State being only one game back from first in the Big 12 with three games to go including an trip to Lawrence. The Mountaineers are back in action on Saturday traveling to Waco to play the #19 Baylor Bears.