MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Sophomore Avery Anderson III scored a career-high 31 points as No. 17 Oklahoma State defeated No. 6 WVU 85-80 on Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
Cade Cunningham and Isaac Likekele did not play for the Cowboys (18-7, 11-7 Big 12). However, Anderson stepped up in their absence.
After suffering a disappointing loss to No. 3 Baylor on Thursday, the Mountaineers (18-8, 11-6) looked flat the entire game.
“I don’t know how we scored 80 when our four guys who generally make shots don’t make shots,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “We can’t guard and I’ve told you guys that. Then I get crucified for telling the truth. We can’t guard. We don’t guard. We try to play some matchups and try to camouflage the fact that we can’t guard. Everybody watches film like we do, so they work against the matchup. If somebody lets his man go and they drive a straight line to the rim, we don’t have a shot blocker. We don’t have Sags (Sagaba Konate) back there. We don’t have Elijah (Macon) back there. (Senior forward) Gabe (Osabuohien) took charges. He took charges, so I’ll leave it at that.”
Freshman Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe had 18 points for Ok State. Kalib Boone added 12 points and Keylan Boone 11.
Taz Sherman led WVU with 20 points. Derek Culver tallied 14 points. Deuce McBride had 12 and Emmitt Matthews Jr. 11.
Kedrian Johnson cut the deficit to 82-80 with 24 seconds remaining.
Then Sherman fouled Anderson, who made just one free throw. With 11 seconds left on the clock, the Mountaineers had a chance to tie it.
McBride made a bad pass into the lane and Boone stole it. Anderson then hit two free throws to seal the victory.
The Cowboys dominated WVU on the boards by a margin of 38-29. Ok State outscored the Mountaineers, 50-30, in the paint.
“They were just running it by us,” Huggins said. “They ball screened, but everyone in America ball screens. They didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. They were just better than us today.”
WVU shot 42 percent from the floor and 21 percent from 3.
The Cowboys shot 58 percent from the field and 29 percent from beyond the arc.
Up next for both teams is the Big 12 Championship, beginning on Wednesday.
Cover Photo Credit: Dale Sparks, WVU Sports