In its regular season finale, the No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers lost to the No. 17 Oklahoma State Cowboys, 85-80, on Saturday in Morgantown.
It was a rough showing for the Mountaineers on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor as they finished shooting 25-of-60 (42%) from the field and allowed Oklahoma State to shoot 33-of-57 (58%) from the floor. The Cowboys also outrebounded West Virginia, 38-29.
“I don’t know how we scored 80 when our four guys that generally make shots didn’t make any shots,” head coach Bob Huggins said following the loss. “We can’t guard and we don’t guard. We try to play some matchup to try and camouflage the fact that we can’t guard and it worked for a while. Everyone watches film and they work against the matchup.”
Out of Oklahoma State’s 33 baskets from the field, 22 made shots were layups. For the game, the Cowboys shot 22-of-32 (69%) on layups.
Huggins didn’t see anything that the Cowboys were doing differently in their offensive attack on the basket.
“They were just running by us,” Huggins said. “They used ball screens, but everyone in America ball screens. They didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. They were just better than us today.”
It was Senior Day inside the WVU Coliseum and the Mountaineers honored two players: Taz Sherman and Gabe Osabuohien prior to tip-off. Sherman started in just his sixth game of the 2020-21 season and finished as the leading scorer for WVU with 20 points. Osabuohien earned his second career start as a Mountaineer and scored seven points to go along with three rebounds, two assists and three steals.
“Gabe on the defensive end has been terrific for us,” Huggins said of Osabuohien’s defensive presence. “His offense has gotten better, but on the defensive end I don’t know where we would be without him. Taz has had a terrific year. It’s a shame that he’s been dinged up because I think he would’ve put a heck of a year together scoring the ball.”
This is the fourth game in the last seven days for West Virginia as the Mountaineers now set their eyes on the Big 12 Conference Tournament next week. Prior to the game, Huggins saw little energy in his team and emphasized the importance of energy with the upcoming postseason tournaments for the Mountaineers.
“I think anybody that has played 26 games ought to be able to figure it out by now,” Huggins said. “We’re getting ready to go play in the conference tournament where you’re not playing a game and then taking a day off, you’re playing a game and then playing a game and then playing a game. We’re in trouble if that’s the case. We’ll be home early. We had no bounce, we had zero bounce.”