Oklahoma spoils West Virginia’s Big 12 debut
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Romero Osby and Steven Pledger scored in double figures for Oklahoma to negate an outstanding day by West Virginia freshman Terry Henderson Saturday as the Mountaineers lost their inaugural Big 12 Conference game 67-57.
Osby had 21 points and nine rebounds and Pledger added 12 as the Sooners (10-3) beat the Mountaineers (7-6) for the second time this year. The two league opponents met in a nonconference game in a Thanksgiving tournament that did not count in the standings.
Oklahoma closed the game on a 16-2 run that included two treys from Pledger.
Henderson, who previously scored 23 points in a loss to Michigan, notched 21 points Saturday, including six 3-pointers, all in the first half.
Two other Mountaineers finished in double figures – Jabarie Hinds (11) and Juwan Staten (10).
West Virginia scored nine 3s in the first half, but knocked down only seven field goals after intermission.
The Mountaineers, who were in the Big East last year, were up 43-31 after scoring three straight baskets in the first 2 minutes of the second half – a three-point play by Hinds, a 3 by Henderson and an easy score by Staten with the Oklahoma players chasing him down the court.
The Sooners dominated from there. Trailing by 12 points, the Sooners held West Virginia to two field goals over the next 9½ minutes – Deniz Kilicli’s make at the 14:11 mark and a layup by Staten with 9:32 to go. Oklahoma outscored the Mountaineers 15-5 during that time.
Hinds’ 3-pointer increased West Virginia’s lead to 55-51, but Oklahoma then outscored West Virginia 12-0 to lead 63-55 with 2:52 left.
After scoring 35 points in the first half, West Virginia ended up with just 22 in the second half. Meanwhile, Oklahoma, which trailed 35-29 at the half, put up 38 after intermission.
That was because the Sooners outshot West Virginia 45.2 percent (14 of 31) to 24.1 percent (7 of 29). The Sooners also won the second-half rebounding battle 23-18.
Oklahoma got a 3 from Buddy Hield at 2:06 which effectively ended the game at 63-57.
The Sooners outscored West Virginia 30-10 in the paint, 17-11 off turnovers, 15-8 on second-chance points and 15-4 from the bench.
Osby picked up seven second-half rebounds. Hield had seven caroms for the game and finished with eight points and five assists. Pledger grabbed four boards and reserve Cameron Clark had six.
Kilicli led West Virginia rebounders with six, followed by Staten with five boards and seven assists. Reserves Gary Browne and Kevin Noreen added five rebounds apiece.
This was the second straight game West Virginia was outscored in the second half. Against Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 30 the Mountaineers won 74-67 even though the Colonels outscored them 45-39 in the second half.
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