Monday, October 24, 2016

No.17 WVU defeats Oklahoma State in Big 12 home opener

Jevon Carter (2) flies through the air with the ball against Oklahoma State  (Photo Credit: Dale Sparks, wvusports.com)

Jevon Carter (2) flies through the air with the ball against Oklahoma State
(Photo Credit: Dale Sparks, wvusports.com)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Jevon Carter scored 16 points and No. 17 West Virginia beat Oklahoma State 77-60 in its Big 12 home opener on Saturday afternoon.

Carter connected on 4 of 8 from 3-point range as the Mountaineers won their seventh straight.

Jonathan Holton had 15 points and nine rebounds. Devin Williams added 12 points and grabbed nine boards.

Jaysean Paige took on a different role against Oklahoma State, starting the game instead of coming off the bench. He scored nine points.

“He didn’t shoot as well, “ WVU head coach Bob Huggins said. “I don’t know if he was as active. I think he feels more comfortable coming off the bench. I think he is a lot more comfortable. The other group needs him. Tarik (Phillip) got into foul trouble, and he is the other guy in that group that has been scoring.”

WVU (14-1, 3-0, Big 12) outrebounded the Cowboys 40-33. The Mountaineers dominated on the offensive boards, edging Oklahoma State 18-8.

Jawun Evans led the Cowboys (9-6, 1-2) with 13 points. Jeff Newberry scored 12 and Jeffrey Carroll added 10.

WVU never trailed in the game, and the Mountaineers had their largest lead of the game of 23 with 5:31 left in the second half.

Paige forced a turnover and dished it to Holton to give WVU a 9-2 lead with 15:31 left in the first half.

Elijah Macon spun and passed it to Paige, who drove down the left side and threw down a thunderous dunk to put the Mountaineers up 18-11 with 11:44 remaining in the first half.

Carter connected on a jumper with four seconds left in the first half to send WVU into the locker room with a 38-26 lead.

Jonathan Holton (1) shoots during WVU's win over Oklahoma State  (Photo Credit: Dale Sparks, wvusports.com)

Jonathan Holton (1) shoots during WVU’s win over Oklahoma State
(Photo Credit: Dale Sparks, wvusports.com)

Turnovers were a concern for the Mountaineers after Monday night’s win, but WVU turned the ball over 10 times on Saturday.

“That is what we are shooting for,” Huggins said. “We want to be at 10 or less. We have kind of always been in that range. We always had a very high assist to turnover ratio. That’s been a problem for us. We turn it over so much.”

“Press Virginia” forced 16 turnovers and had eight steals.

The Mountaineers are 3-0 in Big 12 action for the first time since joining the league in 2012.

With the win, Huggins moved into a tie with coach Lou Henson for 11th in all-time wins. He is 779-313 overall in 34 seasons of coaching.

Paige was a late addition to the starting lineup for WVU. Daxter Miles Jr.  was scratched with an ankle injury, snapping a 49 game streak as a starter.

“I’ve never played a guy that doesn’t practice, ever,” Huggins said.   “It’s not fair to the other guys.”

The Mountaineers next game is on Tuesday Jan.12 when No.1 Kansas comes to town. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.





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