- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield had a simple description for West Virginia’s relentless full-court press: “Ridiculous.”

The 18th-ranked Sooners committed a season-high 22 turnovers, due in large part to No. 16 West Virginia’s pressure, and never led in an 86-65 loss to the Mountaineers on Tuesday night.

“It’s really tough to handle,” said Hield, who led the Sooners with 21 points. “It’s constant pressure. We’ve just got to adjust to that. We’ve got to do a better job handling the basketball.”

Oklahoma had protected the basketball for the most part over the past month, keeping its turnovers in single digits in five of their previous seven games.

The 22 turnovers led to 27 points for West Virginia, and the 86 points were the most allowed by Oklahoma this season. The previous high was 69 on two occasions, also losses.

“The game was dictated from start to finish by West Virginia,” said Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger. “They were definitely the aggressor.”

Especially West Virginia’s reserves.

Outscored in their previous two games, the Mountaineers’ bench amassed a season-high 55 points.

Eleven different players scored for West Virginia (15-2, 3-1 Big 12). The previous high from its bench this season was 35 points.

Reserve Jevon Carter led the way with 18 points. Devin Williams added 14 points and 11 rebounds while reserve Nathan Adrian scored a season-high 11.

“That’s our whole style of ball,” Carter said. “We go 11 or 12 deep on our bench. When guys get tired, we can bring in teammates who bring the same amount of energy and intensity to the game.

“We knew Oklahoma didn’t have a lot of depth, so that was our goal to get them real tired early.”

Isaiah Cousins added 14 points and Ryan Spangler scored 10 for Oklahoma (11-5, 2-2), which has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.

West Virginia’s starting guard tandem of Juwan Staten and Gary Browne combined for seven points. Staten, the Big 12’s fourth-leading scorer and conference preseason player of the year, didn’t score until there was 6:37 left in the game. He finished with four points, nearly 13 under his average.

On this rare occasion, at least, West Virginia didn’t need them.

The Mountaineers never trailed. It jumped ahead by 13 at halftime and by as many as 24 late in the game.

Adrian provided the early spark and Carter came on strong late. Adrian, who went scoreless in his two previous games, hit his first 3-pointer since Dec. 4, a span of nine games.

“I’ve been trying a little harder on my game,” said Adrian, a sophomore. “I know I can play. I tried to be more active tonight. It seems like you can think straighter when you start making shots.”

The Mountaineers finished the first half with a 10-0 run to lead 45-32.

Despite picking up four quick fouls early in the second half, West Virginia stayed aggressive on defense, getting several steals that led to baskets. Elijah Macon’s layup off an Adrian miss gave the Mountaineers a 60-40 lead with 12:53 remaining.

Oklahoma, which earlier had trimmed the deficit to 12, then went nearly eight minutes between field goals.

“I thought our ball pressure was very, very good,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “Our pressure had a cumulative effect. I don’t think that some of their guys were as effective at the end.”

Carter had 14 points in the second half, including 3-pointers 21 seconds apart for an 84-61 lead with 3:31 left.


Oklahoma: The Sooners were outrebounded 42-35 and attempted 18 fewer shots than West Virginia.

West Virginia: Huggins earned his 755th career win to tie Oklahoma State Hall of Fame coach Henry Iba for 13th on the all-time Division I list. Western Kentucky’s Ed Diddle is 12th with 759 wins.


Oklahoma: Hosts No. 24 Oklahoma State on Saturday.

West Virginia: Plays at No. 20 Texas on Saturday.

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