Tip-in lifts No. 2 Oklahoma past WVU


Bob Huggins


Cliff Brunt

AP Sports Writer

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — West Virginia came agonizingly close to posting a historic week of basketball.

Khadeem Lattin’s tip-in with one second remaining gave No. 2 Oklahoma a 70-68 victory over the 11th-ranked Mountaineers on Saturday.

West Virginia beat No. 1 Kansas on Tuesday. The Mountaineers were trying to become first team to beat the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in consecutive games since Kansas topped North Carolina and Memphis in the 2008 Final Four.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said his team gave its all both games.

“We play hard,” he said. “We try. I think we compete. They’re good guys. They want to win, they try to win.”

West Virginia entered the day alone in first place in the Big 12. The Mountaineers might still be there if they had shot better than 13 for 22 from the free-throw line or hadn’t turned it over 16 times.

“What kills us is when we go to the free throw line and can’t make free throws,” Huggins said. “You can’t shoot 50 percent from the free throw line, and you can’t turn it over the way we turned it over.”

Jaysean Paige scored 18 points for West Virginia (15-2, 4-1). Devin Williams, the team’s top scorer and rebounder for the season, played just 15 minutes because of foul trouble and finished with five points and six rebounds.

“Devin Williams is … probably a first team all-league guy if he can play,” Huggins said. “He plays 15 minutes. That doesn’t help us. We want to sit here and talk about their second-chance points. It’s a hell of a lot easier to get second-chance points when he’s not on the floor.”

Buddy Hield scored 17 points, Jordan Woodard had 13 and Ryan Spangler added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Sooners (15-1, 4-1 Big 12).

Oklahoma is in position to move to No. 1 in the AP poll since top-ranked Kansas lost to West Virginia on Tuesday. It would be the Sooners’ first No. 1 ranking since March 1990. The Sooners won despite shooting a season-low 33.3 percent.

Woodard grabbed an offensive rebound to set up Hield for a 3-pointer that gave the Sooners a 34-32 lead late in the first half. Hield blocked Jevon Carter’s shot at the buzzer, and the teams were tied at 34 at the break.

A 3-pointer by Hield put the Sooners up 39-34 in the opening minutes of the second half.

Isaiah Cousins was called for a flagrant foul with 15:11 remaining. Paige made two free throws to put the Mountaineers up 42-41, and Daxter Miles, Jr. scored on the inbounds pass to make it a three-point lead for West Virginia.

The Mountaineers expanded their lead to seven before the Sooners rallied. Two free throws by Spangler gave Oklahoma the lead, and a 3-pointer by Woodard put the Sooners up 55-51 with about 9 minutes to play. Oklahoma led 65-58 with 4:32 to play before West Virginia stormed back in the final minutes.

TIP-INS

West Virginia: Missed its first five shots and didn’t score for the first 3:38. … Shot 48 percent in the first half. … Committed 27 fouls.

Oklahoma: Five of the Sooners’ eight first-half field goals were 3-pointers. … Outscored West Virginia 13-3 at the free throw line in the first half. … Lattin played just 6 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.

UP NEXT

West Virginia hosts Texas on Wednesday.

Bob Huggins
http://williamsondailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_Huggins-Bob.jpgBob Huggins
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