The West Virginia Mountaineers entered Wednesday’s contest on a 5-game losing streak since opening conference play with an overtime loss to Kansas State. That streak ended as WVU was able to pick up its first conference win of the season while pushing its home record vs. the Horned Frogs to 11-0.
The WVU Coliseum has always been a house of horrors for TCU, and Wednesday night was no different as the Frogs found themselves in a major hole early. The first half was the Frogs’ lowest scoring period of the season, featuring 39% shooting with zero made 3-pointers and most notably zero fast break points - a stat in which TCU was #1 in the country headed into the contest. One way the Mountaineers were able to prevent transition opportunities was cleaning up on the offensive glass. Even when WVU was missing shots, they were earning extra possessions all night, securing 14 offensive rebounds in the game (TCU only had 4 OReb for the game). The Mountaineers also earned free possessions by forcing 19 turnover in the game. Another major factor in the first half deficit was foul trouble - the fouls accumulated early and often for the Horned Frogs, putting WVU in the bonus less than halfway through the first half. The fouls were especially damaging as they included 2 each on Mike Miles, Damion Baugh, and Eddie Lampkin (who would foul out with over 6 minutes in regulation). forcing some cautious defending and big early minutes from the bench. Even with the added minutes, the bench was only able to contribute two (2) first half points.
The 2nd Half did eventually bring a new energy from the Frogs: TCU missed just three 2-point FGs, shooting 68.4% from the field while holding WVU under 40% shooting, and finally getting some points in transition including a Damion Baugh throwdown to open the 2nd Half scoring
After a few big scoring runs, TCU cut the deficit to just 2 points after consecutive lay-ins from Jakobe Coles brought the score to 60-62 with 5:14 remaining. It would be as close as the Frogs would get. TCU was outscored 5 to 12 the rest of the way as the Horned Frogs committed turnovers and offensive fouls and could not get contested shots to fall, while unable to get enough stops and WVU made 6 free throws in that final 5-minute stretch. Even in the loss, it was another banner scoring night for Mike Miles who recorded his 20th consecutive game scoring in double digits, and led all scorers with 21 points on the night.
West Virginia improves to 11-7 on the season and 1-5 in the Big 12, leaving Texas Tech as the only team without a conference win. The Mountaineers will remain in Morgantown to host #7 Texas (15-3; 4-2) on Saturday evening on ESPN.
TCU will next have to travel to another location where it has never won, Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas taking on the defending Champion #2 Jayhawks (16-2; 5-1) at Noon on CBS