Thursday, October 20, 2016

No. 10 WVU hosts No. 3 Oklahoma

WVU' Tarik Phillip (12) and Oklahoma's Jordan Woodard (10) lineup during the Jan. 16 meeting. (Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS)

WVU’ Tarik Phillip (12) and Oklahoma’s Jordan Woodard (10) lineup during the Jan. 16 meeting.
(Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– On Saturday afternoon No.10 West Virginia will get a chance to avenge a 70-68 loss to No.3 Oklahoma from Jan. 16.

“It’s real big. It’s a chance to get revenge,” sophomore guard Jevon Carter said before practice on Friday. “We lost on a tip-in. I really think we can come out here and get that win tomorrow.”

In that game, the Mountaineers’ pressure defense caused problems for the Sooners’ offense, but if WVU (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) is without guards Daxter Miles Jr. and Jaysean Paige that could pose a problem for the press.

Miles suffered a hamstring injury against TCU on Feb.13 and Paige sprained his ankle against Texas on Tuesday.

“It’s hard to play the way we play without having depth. Without those guys it leaves JC (Jevon Carter), Tarik (Phillip) and Teyvon (Myers) pretty much,” head coach Bob Huggins said.

Oklahoma (20-5, 8-5) is coming off back-to-back losses to Texas Tech and Kansas. During those losses, the Sooners struggled to make shots.

The trio Buddy Hield, Jordan Woodard, and Isaiah Cousins are the league’s top 3-point snipers, but over the last few games, they’ve combine to shoot 33.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Carter believes that keeping these 3-point threats from scoring from long range, the better chance the Mountaineers have at winning.

“We feel like the less threes they make, the better chance we got at winning,” he said.

WVU's Jaysean Paige (5) shows emotion during the loss to Oklahoma on Jan. 16. (Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS)

WVU’s Jaysean Paige (5) shows emotion during the loss to Oklahoma on Jan. 16.
(Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS)

In Wednesday’s 65-63 loss to the Red Raiders, national player of the year candidate, Hield was held to 16 points, which is well below his average of 25.2 points per game. Cousins was held to just 10 points.

Shutting down these three would be huge for WVU.

“From what I understand Cousins has a chance to play in the league, Buddy Hield will definitely play in the league and Woodard is having a terrific year,” Huggins said. “Are there three better guards anywhere? If there are, I don’t know where they are. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

In the Mountaineers 85-78 loss to Texas, they forced a season-low seven turnovers.

One positive note was WVU fell behind by 16 points but managed to cut the lead to five points late in the game.

Phillip scored 19 points against the Longhorns and Devin Williams had 18 points and 12 rebounds for his league leading 12th double-double. Jonathan Holton added 10 points.

Oklahoma has lost its last two games to the Mountaineers at the Coliseum.

Before the game, WVU will be unveiling the Hot Rod Hundley statue will take place at the blue gate of the Coliseum.

The Sooners hold a 7-3 edge in the all-time series.

The Mountaineers have won 36 of their last 37 games when holding opponents to 69 points or less.

The last time two Top 10 teams squared off in Morgantown was in 2010 when No. 5 WVU took on No.4 Villanova. The Mountaineers are 5-11 in these games.

Tipoff is at 4 p.m. (ET) and the game is being televised on ESPN.



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