EditorsNote: 2nd update: adds new 2nd graf to reflect Huggins tying Rupp on all-time coaching list
No. 14 West Virginia rattled off 21 straight points early in the second half to break open a tight game and coast to a 74-51 win Saturday over Missouri in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge in Morgantown, W.Va.
Bob Huggins’ 876th career win lifted the Mountaineers coach into a tie for seventh place on the NCAA list with Kentucky icon Adolph Rupp.
Miles McBride came off the bench to score 15 points for the Mountaineers (16-3), while Jermaine Haley added 15 points and nine rebounds. Oscar Tshiebwe added 14 points and eight rebounds as West Virginia dominated the glass 50-30, getting 12 boards from reserve forward Gabe Osabuohien.
Torrence Watson scored a game-high 19 points off the bench to pace the Tigers, who dropped to 9-10 after converting only 28.3 percent of their shot attempts from the field, including 7 of 26 from the 3-point line. Missouri missed four free throws (14 of 18) after going 56 of 57 in its previous two games.
Ahead 26-25 after Missouri’s Mitchell Smith sank a transition layup 75 seconds into the second half, the Mountaineers exploded to make the game a blowout. Osabuohien started the run with two free throws at the 18:18 mark and McBride ended it nearly six minutes later with a 3-pointer for a 47-25 cushion.
The first half was contested in two segments: the first 12 minutes, dominated by West Virginia, and the final eight minutes, which Missouri controlled to make it a close game at the half.
In a continuation of their 97-59 destruction of Texas on Monday night, the Mountaineers stifled the Tigers offensively through 12 minutes. Missouri made just two of its first 20 shots, and West Virginia led 20-6 after McBride converted a turnover into a transition layup.
The game changed right after that. The Tigers found footing offensively and the Mountaineers got sloppy. Two free throws by Missouri’s Kobe Brown at the 7:55 mark were the start of a 17-4 run to end the half. Xavier Pinson finished it off with a fast-break layup with 27 seconds left, sending the Tigers into the locker room down just 24-23.
—Field Level Media