Gary Browne scored 16 points and the No. 17 West Virginia Mountaineers dished the TCU Horned Frogs its first loss of the season on Saturday in the Big 12 conference opener.
The Mountaineers were without leading scorer Juwan Staten, who missed the game with an illness. It took the entire West Virginia squad to beat TCU 78-67.
Five different players had at least nine points and five others got in on the scoring against the Frogs. Devin Williams tallied 14 and Jaysean Paige added 10 in West Virginia’s sixth straight win.
Kyan Anderson led the Frogs with 19 points and Trey Zeigler added 17.
The Mountaineers’ defense pressed the Frogs into 18 turnovers and finished with 12 steals.
TCU scored the first five points of the second half before the Mountaineers’ press caught up with them.
Williams scored a three-point play, and Jonathan Holton stole the inbounds pass from Chris Washburn, leading to another three-point play for West Virginia. Daxter Miles Jr. gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the game with 17:12 to play.
Browne scored all of his points in the final twelve minutes. The senior guard had an answer for everything.
He knocked down two free throws and gave West Virginia a 51-45 lead with 9:54 to play.
The Frogs battled back within four, but Browne answered once again. He took the ball to the basket and put in a layup to push the Mountaineers back to a six point lead.
Browne’s jumper at 6:03 gave West Virginia a 10 point lead, which they wouldn’t relinquish.
West Virginia looked to be in trouble early without Staten. TCU began the game on a 7-0 run and the Mountaineers’ offense scored six points in the first 10 minutes.
Nathan Adrian’s three-point play with 9:25 remaining broke the Mountaineers nearly 4 ½ minute field-goal drought, cutting the Frogs lead to 12-10.
TCU extended its first half lead with a 10-2 run after Zeigler hit a free throw and Anderson converted a layup. Karviar Shepherd scored on a wide-open layup to give the Frogs a 17-10 lead with 8:24 to play.
TCU took its largest lead of the game, 22-12 at the 6:40 mark when Shepherd completed a three-point play.
The Mountaineers ended the half on a 9-4 run, capped off with Jevon Carter’s buzzer-beating long jumper to cut the Frog’s lead to 32-30.
The Mountaineers will travel to Lubbock on Monday to battle the Texas Tech Red Raiders.