Strongest first half in a while, different story in the second half
West Virginia notched 28 points in the opening half of Saturday’s contest. Prior to Saturday evening, the last time the Mountaineers scored more than 28 points in the first half was when West Virginia notched 31 points against Baylor on Jan. 21.
The increase in production could be seen in field goal shooting where the Mountaineers held a 32 percent field goal percentage as well as a 58-percentage shooting mark at the free throw line.
The Mountaineers headed into the locker room with only a six-point deficit which quickly headed south. The Longhorns began the second half on a 12-3 run and the Mountaineers never regained momentum of the game.
Halfway through the second half, the Longhorns took a 25-point advantage behind a few three pointers and break away dunks. The Mountaineers missing all six of their second half three pointers also hurt West Virginia.
“The reality is that they’re more talented than we are… we have to do things right and we didn’t do things right,” said WVU head coach Bob Huggins on his team’s second half performance.
Three-point shooting downs West Virginia
Heading into the second half, the Mountaineers held a 30 percent three-point mark from beyond the and went three for 10 on shots from three-point territory. Then, West Virginia didn’t hit a single three pointer in the second half.
“We didn’t make a shot… we can’t and won’t pass the ball, we’ve got maybe two guys that can drive it, straight line-drive it and the rest of our guys can’t, that’s okay if you move the ball…we just don’t move the ball,” said Huggins of his team’s second half shooting performance.
The second half saw the Mountaineers attempt six three pointers from three different players while none of them fell through the basket.
West Virginia’s three point-shooting has been ugly all season after they shot 18.8 percent from beyond the arc against Texas Tech on Feb. 4 as well as shooting a lowly 29.6 percent from beyond the arc against Baylor on Jan. 21.
Sloppy play overall hurts Mountaineers yet again
The Mountaineers were outscored, outrebounded and outworked overall Saturday night yet again this season.
“We just don’t guard, we don’t play with a lot of intensity, it doesn’t seem to bother us,” explained Huggins.
The Longhorns outrebounded the Mountaineers 42-34 and West Virginia turned the ball over 11 times as opposed to Texas’ eight turnovers. The Mountaineers came out of the gates in the second half sluggish and never seemed to pick their “intensity” back up the rest of the night.
As the Mountaineers turned the ball over an ugly 11 times, the Longhorns were able to take advantage and score 17 points off those turnovers opposed to West Virginia’s 12 points off turnovers.