The sixth-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers took the court against TCU on Thursday evening for the penultimate game of the 2020-21 regular season, and cruised to a near effortless 76-67 win over the Horned Frogs.
If you were looking for a quality performance similar to that which West Virginia turned in against Baylor on Tuesday — and even against Kansas State on Saturday — this wasn’t it, as the Mountaineers were able to sleep walk through the majority of the game.
West Virginia jumped out to a 22-7 lead over the Horned Frogs midway through the first half, largely in part to an outstanding performance from freshman Jalen Bridges, while TCU struggled to get shots to fall.
The Mountaineers kept their foot on the gas as the half came to a close, taking a 32-18 lead highlighted by Bridges’ 12 points, 9 rebounds into the locker room.
The second half saw the Horned Frogs make an attempt at a comeback, while West Virginia shifted their game into cruise control and Bob Huggins looked for playing time for Kedrian Johnson and Seny Ndiaye.
TCU was able to trim to lead to single digits with an RJ Nembhard three, cutting the score to 49-41 with 10:15 remaining.
The Horned Frogs continued trying to chip away at West Virginia’s lead, but minimal effort from the Mountaineers proved to be enough to keep a comfortable 8 to 12 point cushion over TCU through the remainder of the half.
Bridges led the Mountaineers with a career-high 22 points, 12 rebounds, recording his first career double-double. Derek Culver finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds. Sean McNeil added 14 points, while McBride ended up with 10 points. Emmitt Matthews and Taz Sherman chipped in 9 points and 4 points, respectively.
The Mountaineers will look to give Bob Huggins his 900th career win on Saturday, when West Virginia takes on the Oklahoma State Cowboys to close the regular season. That game is scheduled to tip off at 2:00PM ET and will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2, with official designation to come on Friday. A win over the Cowboys would secure the two-seed for the Mountaineers in next week’s Big 12 Conference tournament.