No. 14 West Virginia held a lead over No. 4 Texas for the majority of the game Saturday but with just three seconds remaining, Andrew Jones made a three giving the Longhorns a two-point lead. Texas held the Mountaineers from getting a shot up and went on to win 72-70.
Even with the setback in the last couple games for West Virginia, head coach Bob Huggins still has faith in his team going forward.
“We are what we are, and we are still pretty damn good by the way,” Huggins said following a tight loss to the Longhorns.
On the possession before the final three-point shot, Emmitt Matthews pulled down an offensive rebound, attempted to go up with it and was fouled with 10 seconds remaining. Matthews missed both free throws giving Texas an opportunity to take the lead with a made shot.
Huggins was not upset with Matthews’ decision to go up with a shot after his offensive rebound. When asked if he would have liked Matthews to pull the ball out of the paint, Huggins said, “We all would have, but the reality is he’s gonna dribble it out there and they are gonna foul him out there, just gonna run a few more seconds off the clock, that’s not gonna end the game.”
For the majority of the game, West Virginia had no answer for the Longhorns’ play in the paint giving up 40 points around the rim. Although the Mountaineers were not able to defend the paint very well, the team did hold Texas to just four three-pointers.
“I thought we did a good job for a period of time then we didn’t do a good job,” Huggins said about being outscored 40 to 22 in the paint. To start the game, Texas scored 10 straight points in the paint while West Virginia had made nothing inside.
West Virginia led for the majority of the game but, unlike the Longhorns, the Mountaineers were unable to make up for the small mistakes made.
“We are not as athletic as they are, they make up for a lot of mistakes with their athleticism, we are just not as athletic,” Huggins said of the Longhorns. “They are experienced guys, that’s an experienced team, Simms is a three or four-year guy, both the guards are four-year guys.”
On Tuesday, West Virginia will travel to No. 2 Baylor for another tough Big 12 matchup, the game will tip-off at 9 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2. The Bears are currently undefeated.