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West Virginia has no fix for Oklahoma State in 23-point loss

As Oklahoma State went on a 17-2 run to open the second half of play, chants from the Ghallagher-Iba Arena crowd reigned down. “Bob the builder can he fix it, Bob the builder no he can’t.” 

This season, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has insisted he will do everything in his power to turn West Virginia’s season around. Unfortunately for Huggins and the rest of the Mountaineers on Saturday, they had no fix against Oklahoma State, losing 81-58. 

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“If I had all the answers, we’d be a hell of a lot better team, I guess. I don’t have all the answers,” Huggins said.

Oklahoma State out-rebounded West Virginia 48-24, while scoring 40 points in the paint compared to West Virginia’s 16, en route to their 23-point win.

“Honestly — I have no comment about that, honestly,” Malik Curry said about West Virginia’s efforts on the glass. 

In the first half, West Virginia seemed to be settled in early. The Mountaineers scored five straight points from the free throw line, taking an early 8-2 lead after a Sean McNeil three-pointer. 

Oklahoma State would get right back into the game, going on a 7-0 run to take a one-point lead. West Virginia would answer right back however, with Jalen Bridges hitting a three-pointer from the left corner to force a Cowboy timeout, with the Mountaineers leading 19-12. 

Out of the timeout, the Cowboys would score eight straight points, to take the lead back. Both teams would then trade baskets until the final 1:21 of the half, with Oklahoma State scoring five straight points to take a six-point lead into the locker room. 

The Mountaineers found most of their success from beyond the arc in the first half, going 5-for-13 from three, and making only four other shots. West Virginia would struggle down the stretch of the first half, not scoring for the final 2:56 of the first half and missing their last seven shots from the field.  

Early on in the second half is when things reared its ugly head for the Mountaineers. 

Neither team started the second half well offensively, but it was Oklahoma State who led 40-32 with 16:44 remaining. The Cowboys would proceed to go on a 12-0 run, to take a 52-32 lead with 13:47 to play.

During the run, the Cowboys would make a perfect pass from well beyond the three-point line to a cutting Tyreek Smith who would emphatically finish it off with a slam dunk. 

The Mountaineers would finally stop the bleeding with Seth Wilson making a layup at the 12:37 mark of the second half. West Virginia scored only two points during a combined 15:33 of play.

The Mountaineers would eventually cut the Oklahoma State lead to 12 after Isaiah Cottrell hit a three-pointer, but that is the closest West Virginia would get. Oklahoma State would then score seven straight points, putting things out of reach for West Virginia.

The Mountaineers shot 31.7% from the field on the afternoon, while going 2-for-14 from beyond the arc in the second half. Oklahoma State shot 48.1% from the field on the day, while only making three three-pointers all afternoon. 

West Virginia has a quick turnaround, traveling to face Kansas State on Monday, Feb. 14, as they will look to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. 

Photo by Dale Sparks, All-Pro Photography

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