The No. 7 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers remain undefeated on US soil, after escaping a scare from Oklahoma State tonight in Stillwater, 85-79. WVU is now 5-1 in Big 12 season openers, with the five wins coming consecutively.
A quick three from Lamont West to start the game, and three Oklahoma State turnovers in the first two minutes, allowed the Mountaineers to jump out to an early 5-0 lead. However, the Cowboys came prepared to fight. Behind three pointers from Lindy Waters III and Jeffrey Carroll, the Pokes mounted a quick comeback and took the lead from West Virginia around the 14:00 mark in the first half.
Oklahoma built a nine point led midway through the half, but West Virginia would find an answer off the bench in James “Beetle” Bolden. Bolden made back-to-back threes to tie the game at 28 points with 7:00 remaining. The two teams went on to trade shots as the half came to a close, but a late three pointer from Oklahoma State’s Mitchell Solomon would give the Pokes a 46-39 lead going into the locker room.
Both teams came out of the half looking sloppy, with neither team making a field goal in the opening two minutes. Things changed in a hurry following a timeout, as Teddy Allen decided to take things into his own hands, scoring ten points in six minutes to keep the Mountaineers within a respectable distance of Oklahoma State. The Pokes held a 60-56 lead at the 12:00 TV timeout.
Daxter Miles would go to the line with just over 10:00 left in the game to give the Mountaineers their first lead since early in the first half. Oklahoma State would go over six minutes without a made field goal and West Virginia would take advantage, opening up a 76-67 lead with three minutes remaining in the contest.
The Cowboys wouldn’t give up and fought back to close West Virginia’s lead to two with just 30 seconds remaining. Two made free throws from Beetle Bolden would give the Mountaineers enough cushion to escape Stillwater with the win.
West Virginia finished the game with 21 forced turnovers, and shot 43.9% from the field. Teddy Allen lead the Mountaineers with 15 points off the bench. Sagaba Konate chipped in 14 points, nine rebounds and a block. Jevon Carter went 2-10 (2-5 3PT) from the field, and 6-6 from the foul line, for 12 points and seven assists. Miles finished with 12 points, 5 assists and Lamont West added 11 points, four rebounds.
West Virginia will stay on the road and travel to Manhattan, Kansas, where they’ll play the 10-2 Kansas State Wildcats on New Years Day. That game will tip off at 5:00PM Eastern, and will be broadcast on ESPNU.