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Mountaineers get rematch with 12th ranked Oklahoma Sooners

MORGANTOWN W.Va- The Mountaineers (14-5, 7-3) will try and defend home court Saturday afternoon as the Oklahoma Sooners (12-5, 7-4) look to repeat their impressive performance from earlier in the year.

Now sitting at #12 in the poll, the Mountaineers have a golden opportunity at home to defeat a top-15 squad, which would add yet another Quadrant-1 win to their March resume.

The Mountaineers are currently tied for 4th in college basketball with four Quadrant-1 wins with five. Only Baylor, Gonzaga and Ohio State have more on the season.* 

Back in January, the Mountaineers traveled to Norman in their first game without their new lineup. The Mountaineers struggled to find their rhythm offensively with their new, smaller lineup and found themselves trailing by 18 ay halftime. 

West Virginia was able to chip away at the Oklahoma lead and even the score with 5:08 to play. With a chance to tie the game in the final minute, the Mountaineers failed to execute a few plays down the stretch offensively, and gave the Sooners a top-10 win, their biggest of the season.

Now 3.0 games back of the Baylor Bears, Oklahoma is looking to pass the struggling Jayhawks in the Big 12 standings. The Mountaineers currently sit second, 2.5 games back of Baylor, a team who is currently paused.

The Sooners are led offensively by pesky Big 12 veterans Austin Reaves (15.8 PPG) and Brady Manek (10.9 PPG), and sophomore guard De’Vion Harmon (12.5 PPG).

Sophomore guard Umoja Gibson, who averages 9.9 PPG, led the way over the Mountaineers with a 29-point performance in their first meeting.

Now a top-15 blockbuster, Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers (6-2 since their last matchup against Lon Kruger’s Sooners), are playing their best basketball of the season and are firing on all cylinders offensively.

The Mountaineers shooting drowned both Kansas and Texas Tech with a combined scoring margin of +23 during the last two games. 

Despite being without Taz Sherman who had been a major contributor during the Mountaineers latest wins, “next man up” Sean McNeil stepped into the starting role and promptly dropped 26 points to lead the way over the Red Raiders. 

The Mountaineers are 9-13 all-time against the Sooners, and have fallen in each of their last three matchups dating back to the Big 12 tournament in 2019.

The game against Oklahoma will tip off at 1:00 P.M. and will be available for stream on ESPN+.

*Explanation of earning a “Quadrant Win” (graphic via BrackerResearch.com)

Cover Photo via Joshua Gateley

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