Seniors Juwan Staten and Gary Browne led the N0.23 West Virginia Mountaineers past the No.22 Oklahoma State Cowboys 73-63 on Saturday afternoon.
The Mountaineers were 0-4 against the Cowboys going into Saturday’s game since joining the Big 12.
Staten had 22 points and seven assists, passing Alex Ruoff for seventh on West Virginia’s career assist list. Browne scored a career-best 18 points on 3-of-7 shooting from beyond-the-arc.
The Puerto Rico native had a season-high eight rebounds and caught fire in the second half when he scored 16 points.
The Mountaineers dominated the Cowboys on the boards. West Virginia grabbed 37 rebounds, 18 offensively, compared to Oklahoma States’ 20 rebounds.
Le’Bryan Nash tallied 12 points for Oklahoma State, which lost its third straight game. Michael Cobbins and Anthony Hickey Jr. added 11 apiece. Phil Forte finished with 10.
The Mountaineers broke open a tied game with a 13-2 run in the second half.
Daxter Miles Jr. made back-to-back three-pointers early in the half to put West Virginia up 34-29.
With 13:06 remaining, Gary Browne sank two free throws to give the Mountaineers a 41-31 lead.
Browne drained his second three-pointer with 10:45 left to put West Virginia up by 13.
Staten knocked down a three with 5:15 to play, putting the Mountaineers ahead 61-48. It was the 10th three of the game for West Virginia, tying a season-high.
West Virginia found itself in an early hole. After Devin Williams scored the first basket, the Cowboys went on a 13-2 run to take a 13-4 lead in the first eight minutes.
Then the Mountaineers press caught up with Oklahoma State. West Virginia forced four turnovers in a span of three minutes to tie the game.
Neither team scored again for over three minutes, when Nash hit two free throws. Both teams continued the close, defensive battle for the rest of the half, leading to a 25-25 tie at halftime.
The Mountaineers shot 40 percent for the game and a blazing 50 percent from beyond-the-arc. The Cowboys shot 44 percent from the field and 46 percent from three-point range.
West Virginia will look for revenge on Tuesday when Texas travels to Morgantown. The Longhorns pounded the Mountaineers 77-50 back in January.