OU run out of Morgantown, 86-65

Sooners can't deal with West Virginia pressure in Big 12 rout

From the opening possession, it looked like Oklahoma had never faced any kind of high-pressure defense.

The Sooners turned the ball over the first time they touched it Tuesday night, and proceeded to do it 21 more times against the West Virginia press – setting a new season-high.

It was the worst loss of the season by far and the worst defensive performance of the year - by far.

No. 16 West Virginia never seemed threatened in its 86-65 victory against Oklahoma, except for maybe that brief stint when the No. 18 Sooners pulled within three points in the first half in Morgantown, WV.

"The game was dictated from start to finish by West Virginia," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "I thought they did a terrific job with their pressure, and we didn’t handle that very well."

By the end, it was clear the Sooners didn’t want to be there.

After a late turnover in the back court, point guard Jordan Woodard briefly sulked, and guard Buddy Hield gave a careless effort to close out on a 3-pointer, which extended the Mountaineers’ lead even further.

Oklahoma never led in the game, which was tied for just 29 total seconds.

"From watching film, they have been playing like this," Kruger said. "It wasn’t a surprise. They’re playing great, they were definitely the aggressor, they’re a tough team."

Oklahoma (11-5, 2-2 Big 12), which has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, never pulled closer than nine points in the second half after trailing by 13 at halftime.

The 86 points allowed were a season high by Oklahoma, which suffered its worst Big 12 loss since a 22-point defeat at the hands of Kansas during the 2011-12 season. Oklahoma, which had lost by a combined 14 points in its previous four defeats of the year, was beaten by 21 points against Iowa State in that same season.

Oklahoma’s 21-point loss Tuesday was the worst since a 25-point defeat to Gonzaga in 2012.

"We didn’t handle the ball very well," Kruger said. "We turned it over and they got easy points off of those turnovers. It’s not just the ball handling, it’s a combination of different things."

Even without its star, Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Juwan Staten, West Virginia (15-2, 3-1) made easy work of Oklahoma.

Staten scored just four points but 10 other players scored for the West Virginia.

The Mountaineers, who led the nation in steals, turnover margin and offensive rebounds, forced 14 turnovers in the first half. They finished with 27 points off turnovers and 17 offensive rebounds.

West Virginia attempted 18 more shots than Oklahoma, which allowed 20 second-chance points.

"They got 17 offensive rebounds and that’s kind of what they do," Kruger said. "You can’t afford to give up 17 rebounds, but they’re good at it. They’re aggressive and they were more active getting rebounds."

Hield finished with a game-high 21 points, Isaiah Cousins added 14 and Ryan Spangler scored 10 points. Forward TaShawn Thomas attempted just five shots.

West Virginia’s bench outscored Oklahoma’s non-starters, 55-8.

"They played a lot of people, and the people who were coming off of the bench were playing well," Kruger said. "They have been doing that all year and playing that style requires a deep bench."


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