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No. 4 Texas erases West Virginia lead late, Mountaineers fall 72-70

The Mountaineers took a punch straight in the gut in the final seconds, but there may be a teaching moment that can be rolled out of the performance.

Jimmy V Classic Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Texas Longhorns came to the WVU Coliseum one of the hottest teams in the country on Saturday.

Two slow starts in Oklahoma last week led to two huge half-time deficits for West Virginia, and the Mountaineers were expected to not make that same mistake again.

After three layups and two alley-oop dunks by Texas, it was feeling like deja-vu just 3:05 into the first half when Bob Huggins called his first timeout.

The good news for the Mountaineers came in the form of field goal percentage and Taz Sherman. Despite early moments of Swiss cheese defense, Sherman and company were able to knock down shots - shooting 50% from the floor.

Sherman scored 13 in the first half to lead all scorers, making three of six from behind the arc.

The Mountaineers would go into the half leading 40-36.

The second half started similarly for WVU, starting the half on a 12-7 run on in the first seven minutes, building their lead to nine points. Texas responded with an 12-2 run of their own to tie the game up at 57 with 8:30 left to play.

West Virginia regained a five point lead off a Sean McNeil three and a pair of free throws from Sherman, but were unable to hold off the Longhorns enough to put the game away.

The Mountaineers relinquished the lead with two seconds remaining when Andrew Jones hit a wide-open three to put Texas up 72-70 following a pair of Emmitt Matthews free throw misses.

Sherman led the Mountaineers with 17 points. Derek Culver added another double-double to his name, finishing with 14 points, 16 rebounds. Sean McNeil chipped in 14 points of his own, and Miles McBride finished with 12 points.

West Virginia returns to action on Tuesday, when they take on the No. 2 ranked Baylor Bears in Waco. That game will tip at 9PM ET and will be broadcast on ESPN2.