Oklahoma held off the Mountaineers in Norman and will take over the number one ranking in the country next week.
WVU was chasing history, looking to become just the sixth team in the AP era to beat the numbers one and two teams back to back and remain undefeated and atop the Big 12 conference.
Oklahoma got off to a quick start with an early 7-0 run which whipped the crowd into a frenzy. The Mountaineers survived this first body blow and responded with 5-0 run of their own. A barrage of Sooner turnovers followed. The Mountaineers managed to hold Oklahoma to 30% shooting from the field, and Buddy Hield to a relatively quiet nine first half points. The result of the sloppy play was two teams in the top ten in the country in scoring average ended the half tied at 34. Devin Williams picked up his second foul at the 11:11 mark and didn't reenter the game until the start of the second half.
The second half started with five quick Oklahoma points and a third Devin Williams foul, placing him back on the bench. The teams then traded a few more runs. The Mountaineers ripped off 11-0, including a four point possession thanks to a flagrant 1 foul against Isaiah Cousins at the 15:11 mark, to open up a seven point margin. OU quickly responded in kind with a 9-0 run to retake the lead.
The Mountaineers got into trouble after three consecutive quick missed three point attempts, and Jonathan Holton picking up his fourth foul at the 6:33 mark, but the Mountaineers kept fighting the the Sooners were unable to deliver the knockout punch. Paige cut the lead to two with a three pointer around the 1:40 mark. Holton converted two free throws to tie the game with 25.9 seconds remaining.
After a time out the Sooners ran the clock down and while they could not get the ball into Hield's hands, Jordan Woodard missed a driving layup, but Khadeem Lattin was able to tip it in with 2.8 seconds on the clock.
Buddy Hield deflected the inbounds pass and WVU missed a desperation heave as time expired.
WVU faces Texas next at 7:00 on Wednesday, January 1.
A Few Quick Notes:
1. Oklahoma shot an outstanding 84.4% from the free throw line. They had ten more attempts than the Mountaineers.
2. WVU squandered the attempts they did have, shooting just 13-22 from the charity stripe.
3. Jaysean Paige yet again led the Mountaineers with 18 points.