KANSAS CITY, Mo.–Jevon Carter scored 21 points and No. 2 seeded West Virginia University defeated No. 10 seeded Texas 63-53 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship on Thursday night.
The junior point guard was the only consistent scorer for the Mountaineers (25-7). However, WVU turned up the heat on the defensive side of the ball.
The Mountaineers forced 14 turnovers and had six steals while out rebounding the Longhorns (11-22) 42-39. WVU managed to keep Texas from scoring for the final 5:34 of the game.
“Well, we’re trying to win,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “We didn’t get it done in the finals a year ago and just no sense playing if you’re not playing to win.”
Elijah Macon tallied eight points and 10 rebounds. Nathan Adrian had six points and nine boards.
Jarrett Allen recorded nine points and 10 rebounds for Texas. Andrew Jones scored 13 points and Kendal Yancy scored 11.
The Longhorns trailed 15-5 early on but they spurred a 17-7 run to take a 23-22 lead when Eric Davis Jr. sank a 3-pointer with 8:33 remaining.
The two teams exchanged baskets before the Mountaineers went on a 10-1 run to take a 39-30 edge at the half.
WVU picked up where they left off in the second half and took a 47-34 advantage when Sagaba Konate threw down a dunk with 15:25 left.
Kerwin Roach’s jumper, a 3-pointer from Jones and a James Banks dunk stopped the bleeding and cut Texas’ deficit to six, 47-41.
But Adrian stole the ball from Yancy and Carter pushed the lead back to 57-46 when he drained a 3 with 6:34 to play.
“We did a good job on the press,” Carter said. “Guys were getting the handle on the ball. Nate did what he does. He came up with the steal, saved it to me, I caught it and noticed I was wide open and just shot it.”
The Mountaineers shot 43 percent from the field and made 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. WVU made just 10-of-20 from the free throw line.
The Longhorns shot 35 percent from the floor, 29 percent from 3-point range and 42 from the charity stripe.
“I think some of the possessions where we turned the ball over or forced up a bad shot, those are the ones where obviously we were really impacted by West Virginia and the way they defended,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said.
The Mountaineers advanced to the semifinals and will square off against face the winner of the Baylor/ Kansas State game on Friday.
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS