West Virginia men’s basketball limped into Austin, Texas, for a rematch with a resurgent Texas team and picked up another knock, losing 67-57. Though not the embarrassing beat down they dished out in Morgantown, this game seemed to perfectly capture every struggle the Mountaineers currently face in the season.
As Texas begins to rise with their third win in a row, WVU’s spiral continues. The teams are now tied in the Big 12 standings on conference record.
The loss puts WVU (19-9, 7-8) below .500 in conference play, the fifth loss in six games this month, a slide that the team just can’t seem to stop.
WVU turned over the ball 15 times. When they weren’t throwing the ball away, the Mountaineers shot a decent 44 percent from the field. On the other hand, the Longhorns (17-11, 7-8) shot 53.4 percent from the field and 9-22 from three.
Andrew Jones led the way for the home team with 22 points (5-8 from three). Courtney Ramey dropped 21 and Matt Coleman III added 13.
Oscar Tshiebwe led WVU with 14 points, Sean McNeil matched his season high of 13 points and Derek Culver—who did not start—scored 12.
In a continuing theme, WVU was unable to capitalize on opportunities they crated. The Mountaineers were 10-21 from the line and only scored hauled in 29 rebounds.
Two distinct sequences perfectly sum up the night for WVU.
Just before the under-eight timeout in the second half, with WVU down 52-43, Culver missed the front end of a one-and-one but Texas fumbled the ball out of bounds. Culver drew a foul on the inbound pass and then missed the first attempt of the bonus again.
As the clock turned past three minutes to play, Jones put up a well-defended three but Texas came down with the turnover. Coleman missed the follow-up three, that Texas rebounded. Coleman missed again, but the rebound was collected again by Texas and Ramey made a jumper and drew a foul, putting Texas up 61-52.
Even for a WVU game, the contest started slowly. WVU led 3-2 at the under-16 time out. Then, Texas sprung a 15-3 run to take a 17-6 lead before the Mountaineers were able to find the basket. That proved too much for WVU, as the Mountaineers struggled to cut the deficit below six points the rest of the game.
The Longhorns shot nearly 62 percent in the first half, including three 3FGs from Jones hit three three-point shots and scored 16 points to push the Longhorns to a 34-28 lead at the half.
The second half started in a fair manner for WVU. A quick Jermaine Haley layup cut the lead to 30-34, but two fouls and a turnover wasted any chance to sustain a run as Texas then increased their lead.
Haley cut the lead to 33-36 with 17:26 to play, but that was a close as WVU would come the rest of the night. Texas quickly responded with a three from Ramey and the Mountaineers never came closer than four points.