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Ahmad, Holton lead No. 10 WVU past TCU

TCU's Brandon Parrish (11) guards WVU's Esa Ahmad (23) on Saturday, February 13, 2016. (Photo Credit:
TCU’s Brandon Parrish (11) guards WVU’s Esa Ahmad (23) on Saturday, February 13, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Ben Queens- USA Today Sports)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– Esa Ahmad and Jonathan Holton each scored 14 points as No. 10 West Virginia pounded TCU 73-42 on Saturday afternoon.

Holton returned from a four game suspension and didn’t appear to miss a step in his game. The 6-foot-7 senior forward also grabbed seven rebounds and had five assists.

Devin Williams notched his conference leading 11th double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 boards. He now has 28 career double-doubles. Jaysean Paige added 10 points.

Chauncey Collins led the Horned Frogs (11-14, 2-10 Big 12) with 20 points. Malique Trent had nine.

The Mountaineers’ (20-5, 9-3) pressure defense got to TCU early and the Horned Frogs could never recover. WVU forced 26 turnovers and had 15 steals.

“It was men versus boys out there this morning,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. “They have a lot of edge to them, they being West Virginia. Being ready to play like I knew they would be and we didn’t respond well.”

TCU tried to escape the Mountaineers’ press by throwing over them, but that didn’t work for long.

“People are going to take a lot of time to figure out ways to try and break our pressure,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said. ” I honestly thought today, that it helped us more than it hurt us. We came up with a bunch of balls. If I had anybody that played little league and could judge a foul ball, we would get a lot more. Our guys are like the kid you stuck in right field. That’s what they remind me of.”

WVU's Jonathan Holton (1) takes a shot between TCU's Chris Washburn (33)  and Vlad Brodziansky (10) on Saturday, February 13, 2016. (Photo Credit-Ben Queens- USA Today Sports)
WVU’s Jonathan Holton (1) takes a shot between TCU’s
Chris Washburn (33) and Vlad Brodziansky (10) on Saturday, February 13, 2016.
(Photo Credit-Ben Queens- USA Today Sports)

The Mountaineers went 2-2 without Holton in the lineup, but his absence was evident. In his return, the Miami, Fla. native brought the energy and defense WVU had been missing.

Holton entered the game with 16:29 remaining in the first half. He hit a 3-pointer and then made a layup to give the Mountaineers a 22-7 edge with 12:45 left in the half.

Ahmad had his best performance of the season on Saturday. He made 4-of-7 from the field and was perfect from the foul line. The freshman forward hit two free throws to give WVU a 41-22 lead at the half.

The Mountaineers shot 38 percent from the field. WVU went 3-of-3 from beyond the arc to start the game but cooled off, finishing 4-of-16 from 3-point range.

The Horned Frogs shot 33 percent from the floor and made 3-of-8 from long range. Poor free throw shooting plagued TCU, who made just 9-of-23 from the line.

The Mountaineers outrebounded the Horned Frogs 50-35.

Williams became the 50th 1,000-point scorer in WVU history. The 6-foot-9 junior forward now has 1.002 career points, moving him ahead of Patrick Beilein for 48th on the Mountaineers’ career scoring list.

“I think that Devin and KJ (Kevin Jones) are the two best power forwards that I’ve coached here,” Huggins said. “They’ve both been terrific and Devin continues to get better and better. Today, he got going too fast and missed some shots, but he is one of the premier rebounders in the league.”

Huggins is one win shy of tying Lefty Driesell for ninth place on the NCAA’s all-time wins list.

WVU is now 8-0 all-time against the Horned Frogs.

The Mountaineers will be tied with the winner of the Oklahoma/Kansas game for first place in the Big 12 standings.

WVU travels to Austin on Tuesday in a rematch of last month’s 56-49 loss to the Longhorns in Morgantown.


Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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