Mountaineers Bounce Back Big on Monday Night

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WVU Athletics) -- Lesson learned. Two night ago, Kansas State taught West Virginia a valuable lesson about playing hard all of the time and tonight the Mountaineers took it to heart – at Texas' expense.

The Longhorns scored the game's first basket and then watched the 14th-ranked Mountaineers score a season-high 97 points in a 38-point rout here before 12,592 entertained spectators at the WVU Coliseum.

"We were into it," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "We were denying the ball where they wanted to get the ball to, we did a much better job of containing dribble penetration and we pretty much limited them to one shot.

"We did everything that we didn't do the other day."

They say everything is big in Texas, including the losses.

It was the Longhorns' fifth-worst defeat in school history and their largest-ever in Big 12 play. Before tonight, Texas lost by 35 to West Virginia in 2018, which also happened here in Morgantown.

Incidentally, the Longhorns came into tonight's game allowing just 62.2 points per contest, so that stat obviously took a hit.

To compound matters, Texas shot just 35.8 percent from the floor. It was stuck on 15 points for nearly eight minutes in the first half and an eight-point Mountaineer lead turned into a blowout.

West Virginia led by 25 at halftime and once the margin got beyond 40 with 10 minutes to go, the WVU students started chanting for walk-on guard Spencer Macke to get into the game.

Macke Time came with 3:34 remaining and WVU leading 89-51.

His first open look was blocked by Gerald Liddell, but his second one sailed through the bottom of the net to give West Virginia its final three points of the game.

Once the final seconds ticked off the clock, Macke's teammates mobbed him on the floor at mid court.

All of those hustle stats the Mountaineers lost on Saturday it won tonight. WVU destroyed Texas on the glass, 53-27, with 23 of those coming on the offensive end. Longhorns' center Jerico Sims, coming off a season-high 20 point performance two days ago against Kansas, scored only three tonight before fouling out with 14 minutes left in the game.

Other specialty stats in West Virginia's favor were second-chance points, 27-4, and points off turnovers, 24-1.

The Mountaineers turned the ball over only eight times against Texas after mishandling it 18 times two nights ago in Manhattan.

"When we don't turn it over and we get some shots we have a chance to score some points," Huggins said.

Besides Sims, Texas' other big gun, Matt Coleman III, also spent a good portion of the game in foul trouble before finishing with 15 points, most of those coming when the outcome was already decided.

Jase Febres led the Longhorns with 18.

West Virginia's scoring was equally distributed among nine different players who scored seven or more.

Freshman forward Oscar Tshiebwe led the way with 13 points and 11 rebounds, including the highlight play of the game in the second half when he sprinted the length of the floor to track down a loose ball and then took it down the baseline for a one-handed tomahawk dunk.

Derek Culver contributed 13 points and eight rebounds, Jermaine Haley tallied 12 and Jordan McCabe finished with 10.

The starting five of Culver, McCabe, Haley, Tshiebwe and sophomore Emmitt Matthews Jr. scored 56 points tonight – 29 more than they scored against the Wildcats on Saturday.

Spencer MackeThe bench was once again productive with Gabe Osabuohien and Deuce McBride contributing nine points each. McBride saw his eight-game figure scoring streak stopped, however, but Osabuohien's offense is blossoming with 19 points in his last two games.

He had scored just 21 in his first 13 games as a Mountaineer after transferring from Arkansas.

Senior Logan Routt also scored nine points off the bench in his most extended court time since the Ohio State victory back on Dec. 29.

"It's hard to find somebody who didn't play well and we played everybody," said Huggins, now one victory shy of tying Adolph Rupp for seventh on the NCAA all-time wins list with 876. Huggins' career record stands at 875-365 in 38 seasons as a collegiate coach.

Overall, West Virginia shot 51.4 percent from the floor and handed out 16 assists on its 36 made baskets.

The Mountaineers have already matched last year's win total of 15 while improving to 4-2 in Big 12 play.

Texas falls to 12-6, 2-4.

West Virginia returns to the court this Saturday at the Coliseum when it faces Missouri in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. That game will tip off at noon and will be televised nationally on either ESPNU or ESPN2.

The match up has already been announced a sellout.