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Mountaineer Basketball: RaeQuan Battle quiet as third-ranked Cougars outclass Mountaineers in Big 12 opener

The Mountaineers begin Big 12 play in brutal fashion

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Houston Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers were, for lack of better words, thrown into a meat grinder on Saturday afternoon in Houston, as the third-ranked Houston Cougars outclassed and dominated interim head coach Josh Eilert’s team to the tune of 89-55.

Game Recap

Houston jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead to open the game before Noah Farrakhan put the Mountaineers on the board two-and-a-half minutes into the game with a pullup jumper. West Virginia attempted to keep it close, but the Cougars’ defense continued to smother the Mountaineers. With RaeQuan Battle heading to the bench early with two fouls, you could feel the game slipping away by the minute as Houston steadily built a 20-10 lead midway through the half.

The Mountaineers fell into a scoring drought, allowing Houston to continue building their lead before Pat Suemnick finally got a shot to fall with 5:45 left in the half. But it was too little, too late as West Virginia would enter the locker room down 48-22 at halftime.

The second half was more of the same as Houston continued to suffocate West Virginia. The Cougars’ lead grew to 68-29 as the Mountaineers were ice cold from the floor, with the first made field goal of the half coming on a pullup jumper by Kerr Kriisa over seven minutes into the period.

Houston would go on to win, 89-55, for their largest margin of victory against a Big 12 Conference opponent ever.

Post Game

Pat Suemnick led the Mountaineers with 12 points. Noah Farrakhan chipped in nine points, while Quinn Slazinski added eight. RaeQuan Battle, who entered the game averaging 27.3 points per through three games since becoming eligible, finished the afternoon with just four points.

Next Game

West Virginia returns home to face Kansas State on Tuesday in their Big 12 home opener. The game will tip at 7PM Eastern and will be broadcast on exclusively on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.