The tenth-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers entered Tuesday evening on a five consecutive road game winning streak, but the spectre of Schollmaier Arena loomed over them as they prepared for TCU. The Mountaineers entered the matchup on a three-game losing streak in Fort Worth, but those demons would be exorcised as West Virginia cruised to a 74-66 win over the Horned Frogs.
West Virginia moved to 16-6 (9-4 Big 12) on the season, and are in sole possession of second place in the conference standings. The Horned Frogs fell to 11-10 (4-8 Big 12).
After trading buckets and the lead for the first five minutes of the game, West Virginia took control with back-to-back threes from Taz Sherman to take a 22-14 lead with 9:11 remaining.
Derek Culver’s 15 first-half points would keep the Mountaineers on top as the Horned Frogs closed West Virginia’s lead to two points on several occasions in the closing minutes of the first half. Two consecutive layups from Jalen Bridges would go on to give the Mountaineers a 37-31 lead at halftime.
The Mountaineers opened the second half on a 7-0 run, but TCU responded with a run of their own to cut the lead back to six points at the first media timeout of the second half.
Sherman would give the Mountaineers some cushion, going 4-of-4 from the line in a 28 second timespan, and extended the lead to a game high 16 points with a made three and the foul with 11:15 remaining.
TCU narrowed the lead back to single digits with back-to-back threes of their own, but would never be able to get any closer than eight points as the Mountaineers kept control — even while going nearly six minutes without a made field goal in the final seven minutes of the game.
Taz Sherman led all scorers with 23 points. Culver continues leading the Big 12 Conference in double-doubles, recording his 11th of the season with 18 points, 14 rebounds. McBride finished with 11 points, five assists. Bridges chipped in nine points, five rebounds, and Sean McNeil finished with seven points.
With their Texas road trip cut short by the cancellation of Thursday’s matchup against No. 2 Baylor, the Mountaineers will return home to take on Kansas State on Saturday. That game will tip at 4:00PM ET and will be broadcast on ESPN2.