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West Virginia exits Big 12 tournament at the hands of Oklahoma State

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Oklahoma State vs West Virginia Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been hard to establish true rivals in the Big 12 because of distance and history. There is a good rivalry deepening between Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

In the first meeting in Stillwater, the Mountaineers rallied for a large second half deficit to pull out the victory. West Virginia then lost to Oklahoma State in Morgantown in their last game after being up by six at the half. The Big 12 tournament was de ja vu on Thursday as West Virginia ended the first half up with a six point lead.

Miles McBride was the best player on the floor in the first half making six field goals and taking three charges. He played stifling defense on Fran-favorite Cade Cunningham including a steal and a dunk at the buzzer to close out the first stanza.

The Mountaineers led the Cowboys 36-30 at the half.

The second half saw West Virginia come out strong.

After a full bag of IV at halftime, Derek Culver, battling a cold, came out of the locker room with the half already in progress. After entering the game he put together a tremendous Euro-step drive and the grabbed a steal and finished it with a dunk. Taz Sherman hit a three with 14:44 to put WVU up eight, their largest lead fo the second half.

Oklahoma State would then outscore West Virginia 16-8 in the next seven minutes, flipping the score and taking an eight point lead themselves, 60-52. The Cowboys would go up ten before a Taz Sherman rattled off eight straight points to bring WVU to within one point, 65-64.

Both teams would see the lead down the stretch. The Mountaineers had opportunities to take the lead in the final minute but came up short on a couple of occasions. On the final play Sherman ended up with a physically contested jumper that apparently didn’t warrant a fourth foul call on Oklahoma State for the half. Derek Culver was able to corral the rebound and kick it to Sean McNeil, who made the three to tie the game, but released the ball just after the buzzer sounded.

Final score, WVU 69, Oklahoma State 72.