West Virginia falls on road at Oklahoma, records fifth straight Big 12 loss
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 02:03
For the first time since 1999, West Virginia has lost to the same team three times in a season.
The Mountaineers fell behind by as many as 17 in the first half and couldn’t fully recover as Oklahoma (20-9, 11-6) beat West Virginia (13-17, 6-11) 83-70 Wednesday night in Norman, Okla.
WVU has now lost five straight games and six of its last seven.
"We’ve lost three games to Oklahoma because they have absolutely kicked our behinds on the offensive glass. We didn’t block them out," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins on his postgame radio show. "That’s not a hard skill. It’s really not a hard skill."
The Sooners outrebounded Huggins’ team 33-25 overall and 14-9 on the offensive glass. The second-chance opportunities for OU helped contribute to the 27 free-throw attempts for the home team, compared to just 13 for the Mountaineers.
Freshman guard Eron Harris led the Mountaineers with 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting, while senior forward Deniz Kilicli chipped in 20 on 9-of-13 shooting.
After trailing 39-22 with less than two minutes before halftime, West Virginia was able to climb within four points (42-38) just three minutes into the second half.
But it was mental lapses on possessions following the turnaround that ultimately led to the Sooners regaining control
"We kill ourselves turning the ball over. We get it (the deficit) to four (points) and have two consecutive turnovers," Huggins said.
The Sooners were led by Romero Osby’s 26 points and Steven Pledger’s 23 points. Osby, in particular, was able to penetrate into the core of the Mountaineers’ defense most of the night.
"It’s so frustrating that we spend 20 minutes one day – 15 minutes the other day – get on their right side and don’t let their big (men) drive right," Huggins said. "And we let them drive right all day."
West Virginia was able to shoot 52 percent from the floor as a team. The Mountaineers’ defense, though, just couldn’t seem to get a stop when it needed one, and allowed more than 80 points for the second-consecutive game.
"As I’ve said many, many times, it’s my fault," Huggins said. "I’ve got to fix (it). You just don’t think that guys who play tons of minutes as freshmen are going to be way worse as sophomores. That’s never happened."
West Virginia will face Iowa State Saturday at the Coliseum.