The West Virginia men's basketball team is playing host to the Oklahoma Sooners at the WVU Coliseum on Wednesday, looking to get back on track after a tough string of conference games.
The Mountaineers (13-5, 2-4 Big 12) have dropped their last three games, with its most recent loss coming at the hands of No. 13 Texas Tech. All three of West Virginia's recent defeats have been to ranked opponents, making it one of the toughest stretches on this season's schedule.
The Sooners (12-7, 2-5 Big 12) have also lost four straight games but not in dominant fashion. Oklahoma only lost to the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks by three, TCU by one and kept it close with Baylor until the Bears pulled away at the end.
In this game last year in Morgantown, the Mountaineers lost in a two-overtime thriller to the Sooners 91-90, but both teams have seen significant shakeup since that matchup.
This Oklahoma team is unfamiliar compared to teams in the past, with a worse record than usual and without a dominant leading scorer or outside presence. However, the Sooners still have some players who pose a threat to the Mountaineers.
Oklahoma has a two-man combination leading the scoring, with forward Tanner Groves averaging 12.7 points and 5.9 rebounds, with guard Umoja Gibson coming up close behind with 12.4 points. Gibson also adds on 2.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game, making an impact defensively.
Guards Elijah Harkless and Jordan Goldwire, along with forward Jalen Hill round out the starting five for the Sooners, with all three averaging above nine points per game and shooting very efficient around the basket.
West Virginia will be touting its usual starting five, with guard Taz Sherman leading the way with 18.9 points per game with 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals, to match up with Gibson. Guard Sean McNeil has also been an electric scorer for the Mountaineers, averaging 14 points.
Forwards Isaiah Cottrell and Jalen Bridges alongside point guard Kedrian Johnson will fill out the lineup, with energetic playmaker Malik Curry leading the bench unit.
Oklahoma is a sneakily constient and obviously talented team, and it has played close with many of the top teams in the conference. West Virginia will need to hone in on their scorers defensively and find its stride from the outside and down in the paint to take home a victory.
The game is set to tip off at 8 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN 2.