WVU looking to get monkey off its back vs. UT

After coming away victorious in both of their meetings in West Virginia's first year in the Big 12, Texas has become a thorn in the Mountaineers' side ever since.

When the two teams square off in Morgantown Tuesday night, the Longhorns will enter the game having won each of the last four games between the two teams by an average of 18 points per game - with the most recent being a 27-point victory over WVU in Austin earlier this season.

“They just manhandled us down there," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins during Monday's Big 12 coaches teleconference. "They beat us every which way you can get beat. We’ve got a lot of things to shore up and fix, that’s for sure."

But the Mountaineers are heading into Tuesday's game with plenty of confidence as they hope to turn things around against Texas. West Virginia is shooting worse than 33 percent from the field in those four games, and enter tomorrow's contest coming off some success shooting the ball from the field for the first time in a while. When you match that with the tenacity the Mountaineers bring to the defensive end of the floor, Huggins is feeling good about his team heading into the final stretch of the regular season.

“It’s the best full court defensive team I’ve had. I think we were probably better in the half court before. Well, at least the final four year, we were pretty good in the half court,” Huggins said. "This group for whatever reason hasn’t lacked in confidence. So I think they felt pretty good going into the Kansas game.”

“We hadn’t played very well or shot the ball very well and then the last couple of games we’ve shot the ball better. It’s amazing how much better you look when the ball goes in the basket.”

WVU's win against Oklahoma State Saturday was the 11th win of the season for the Mountaineers away from Morgantown. West Virginia is 5-3 in true road games with a 6-0 mark on neutral sites and has been able to have a good amount of success away from its home court - which is something that hasn't been the case the last few seasons.

"Over the years we’ve had a pretty good road team. I think it’s this group’s mindset," Huggins said. "It starts with our seniors. I think it starts with (Juwan) Staten and (Gary) Browne.

Huggins said Monday that sophomore forward Brandon Watkins continues to be day-to-day.


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