When things should have become more difficult for West Virginia on Saturday, they instead became more difficult for Oklahoma.
After letting a double-digit lead slip away through the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half, the No. 6 Mountaineers took control when their best player was forced to the bench, knocking off No. 7 Oklahoma 89-76 on Saturday night at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W.Va.
For much of the game, West Virginia’s Jevon Carter, one of the best defenders in college basketball, got the better of the Sooners’ freshman phenom, Trae Young.
However, early in the second half, Young attacked Carter on offense, and by the time 13:30 remained in the game, Oklahoma led by two and Carter was forced to the bench with his fourth foul.
Without Carter, though, the Mountaineers took over.
After Young’s free throws resulting from Carter’s fourth foul put the Sooners up 53-51, West Virginia reeled off an 18-6 run to regain control.
Carter didn’t come back until less than four minutes remained in the game with his team leading by eight.
Young, the nation’s leading scorer, finished with 29 points, but he shot just 8 of 22 from the field, including 3 of 12 from behind the 3-point arc.
Teddy Allen came off the bench to lead West Virginia with 20 points. Lamont West and Carter added 17 apiece, and Sagaba Konate had 16 points, all but two of them in the second half. Konate added 13 rebounds, and Carter had 10 assists.
The win was the 14th consecutive for the Mountaineers (14-1, 3-0 Big 12). The result snapped a 10-game winning streak for the Sooners (12-2, 2-1).
Jamuni McNeace added 12 for Oklahoma while Rashard Odomes scored 11 and Kameron McGusty had 10.
West Virginia’s pressure gave Young and the Sooners problems early. The Mountaineers forced nine Oklahoma turnovers in the first half — four by Young. West Virginia outscored Oklahoma off turnovers 21-9.
As important, the Mountaineers pestered Young, regularly bracketing him in the backcourt making it difficult for him to bring the ball up the floor and take advantage of the vision he has become known for.
Young, who came into the game leading the nation in assists, was held to just five, tying a season low. He wound up with eight turnovers.
—Field Level Media