For the second time in four seasons, the West Virginia Mountaineers will advance in the Big 12 Conference tournament with a win over the Oklahoma Sooners following a review after the buzzer. Oklahoma guard Christian James drained a buzzer-beater from the arc to force overtime but further review showed James’ foot on the line, giving the Mountaineers the 72-71 win over the No. 7 seed Sooners.
West Virginia led by as much as 8 points in the first half, before letting the Sooners take the lead off a James 3-pointer in the final seconds to give Oklahoma a two-point advantage heading into the locker room.
A slow second-half start for the Mountaineers allowed Oklahoma to grow their lead to six before Jordan McCabe drained three straight attempts from beyond the arc to put West Virginia back on top.
The Mountaineers controlled a tight lead throughout the closing minutes of the game, with Jermaine Haley and Derek Culver making a few clutch shots from inside the paint to stave off Oklahoma’s comeback bid.
The win marks just the third time in Big 12 Conference tournament history that the No. 10 seeded team advances out of the first round and into the quarterfinals.
Lamont West led the way for West Virginia with 15 points, while Haley recorded his first career double-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds. McCabe finished with 12 points after going scoreless in the first half. Culver played just 14 minutes, spending the rest of the time on the bench in foul trouble, but still recorded 6 points, 7 rebounds. Logan Routt scored 8 points on a perfect 3-for-3 from the field, and Emmitt Matthews Jr. added 7 points, 8 rebounds.
West Virginia will take on the No. 2 seed Texas Tech Red Raiders tomorrow evening in the quarterfinal round. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 PM ET tipoff, and will be broadcast on ESPN2.