EditorsNote: adds “in Norman, Okla.” to lede
West Virginia held off a furious Oklahoma comeback in the final two minutes, as Rashard Odomes’ potential tying shot at the buzzer bounced around the rim and out to give the Mountaineers a 75-73 win Monday night at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.
Lamont West led No. 19 West Virginia with 17 points. Esa Ahmad and Sagaba Konate added 14 each for the Mountaineers (18-6, 7-4 Big 12).
Trae Young led No. 17 Oklahoma with 32 points but was held to just one assist as the Mountaineers’ defense made it a point of forcing him off the ball for much of the game.
Young, who came into the game leading the country in both scoring and assists, didn’t get his assist until less than two minutes remained. That came on Khadeem Lattin’s finish of an alley-oop to trim the Mountaineers’ lead to 74-71.
The Sooners further cut the lead on Odomes’ layup in the final 30 seconds and had a chance to tie or take the lead after Ahmad missed a free throw with 13.1 seconds to play.
Oklahoma grabbed the rebound and got the ball in the hands of Young, but he was bottled up on the baseline, not able to get a shot off.
Instead, Young swung his arm free and delivered the ball to Odomes underneath the basket, but Odomes was quickly surrounded by two Mountaineers defenders and couldn’t get off a solid shot.
West Virginia jumped up big with a 14-0 run in the middle of the first half, starting with four consecutive 3-pointers by West.
West hit five of West Virginia’s eight first-half 3-pointers, tying his career high for long-distance shots.
The Mountaineers’ pressure forced Oklahoma to try a different look offensively, often using either Christian James or Odomes to bring the ball up the floor instead of Young.
The result was an offense that sometimes struggled to be as free-flowing as with Young running the point.
For the first time all season, Young was held without a first-half assist, though he did have 17 points before the break.
The teams combined to make their last 12 shots from the field in the first half but started the second ice cold. West Virginia and Oklahoma were a combined 1 of 18 to start the second half, with the Mountaineers missing their first nine shots of the half.
--Field Level Media