No. 20 Texas looks for season sweep of West Virginia
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No. 20 Texas will try to continue its late-season momentum and improve its seeding in the upcoming NCAA Tournament when it plays reeling West Virginia on Saturday afternoon in a key Big 12 Conference game in Morgantown, W.Va.
The Longhorns (20-8, 9-6 Big 12) come to town after a come-from-behind 75-66 home win over gritty TCU on Wednesday. Texas has reached the 20-win mark before March for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Andrew Jones led the way with 21 points, and Marcus Carr scored 16 of his 19 in the second half. Timmy Allen contributed 17 and Christian Bishop had 10 points and blocked a career-high five shots.
It's the first time in his college career that Jones has scored at least 20 points in three straight games.
"He puts 21 (points) on the board, has the ball in his hands a lot and only has one turnover," Texas coach Chris Beard said of Jones after the win. "His basketball IQ tonight was off the charts."
The Longhorns trailed by five points at halftime and were down by 10 five minutes into the second half before turning up the heat on defense to change the momentum and take charge. Texas used an 18-3 surge to take a 61-53 lead with 4:26 to play and never looked back, sweeping the season series from the Horned Frogs, who were playing their third game in five days.
"I feel like we're getting better with each game and each outing," Jones said. "We're learning from every mistake. As long as we learn and don't make the same mistake twice and try to be at our best each game, I feel like we're on the trajectory of doing really big things."
The Mountaineers are looking to get back on the winning track and to make some noise in the final week of the regular season after an 84-81 loss at Iowa State on Wednesday. West Virginia (14-14, 3-12) gave up a late lead to the Cyclones and didn't make the plays down the stretch in one of its best offensive performances of the season.
Malik Curry and Gabe Osabuohien each scored 19 points to lead West Virginia. Taz Sherman scored 15 and Sean McNeil chipped in 11.
The Mountaineers had a 44-8 advantage in bench scoring, shot 24-for-27 from the foul line and had a 34-23 rebounding edge in one of the rare instances this season when West Virginia outrebounded its opposition.
"Besides literally the last minute, I thought we were playing good as a team," Curry said. "We were having fun, playing with energy and excitement. The only thing we could have done better was lower turnovers (overall) and the last couple of possessions."
The loss was the Mountaineers' fifth straight and 12th in 13 games. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins didn't mince words concerning his team's lack of execution in the final minutes.
"We passed the ball around like a hot potato, and they never did anything I asked them to do," Huggins said. "I drew it up for them twice -- twice -- and it was a very simple thing. It's totally ridiculous that 22-, 23-year-old guys can't do the right thing. Frustrating, man, frustrating."
Texas beat the Mountaineers 74-59 on Jan. 1 in Austin in the teams' first meeting of the season.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 24, 2022