Jaysean Paige led the way with 17 points off the bench as West Virginia improved to 22-7 overall and 11-5 in the Big 12 after taking care of the Oklahoma State Cowboys to the tune of a 70-56 score line at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
All 10 Mountaineers that touched the floor scored, and the Mountaineers outscored the Cowboys by 10 in the second half to pull away and notch their second-straight win; as well as secure a season-sweep of Oklahoma State.
Junior forward Devin Williams notched his Big 12-leading 13th double-double of the season with a 13 point, 15 rebound performance.
Williams’ dominance in the paint was contagious, as the Mountaineers finished the game with a 19-5 advantage on the offensive glass, 42-25 in total rebounding, and held a 19-7 edge in points in the paint. Senior forward Jonathan Holton also finished with double-digit rebounds with 11.
He went 4-for-4 from the foul line, made the only 3-pointer he took, and committed just one foul. Huggins said Myers’ increased playing time, as well as his improved play, can be chalked up to a desire to get better.
“He’s making shots. I think that’s the biggest thing. Jaysean Tarik and Teyvon are all roommates and they spend a tremendous amount of time in the gym together,” he said on IMG’s Mountaineer Postgame Report.
“There’s no substitute for hard work. Some guys are finding that out the hard way…I don’t believe in giving people things for free. I think they should have to work for them.”
West Virginia enjoyed a much more proficient outing from the free throw line this evening, making 27-of-37 foul shots, while limiting Oklahoma State to just 20 attempts from the line, 14 of which were made.
“The plan was not to give them free ones. They shoot the ball really well. Travis does a great job of recruiting guys who can make shots,” Huggins said.
For the game, the Mountaineers made 19-of-52 from the field, attempting 11 more field goals than their opponents. Oklahoma State converted 17-of-41 field goals, over half of which were from beyond the arc. The Cowboys started hot from 3, but finished just 8-for-24 for the game.
A big reason West Virginia was able to take care of business tonight was because it was able to effectively shut down senior forward Jeff Newberry. Oklahoma State’s leading scorer was coming off three-straight games of scoring 16 points or more, but managed just five tonight on 1-for-9 shooting.
“He’s a good player who has played really well against us. He’s a guy who did some unofficial visits to our place. Our brain trust, with me at the head of it, didn’t think he could make shots,” Huggins said with a laugh.
The focus for West Virginia now shifts to Wednesday night’s home tilt against a plucky Texas Tech squad that will be hungry to solidify its NCAA Tournament credentials with an upset.