by Jim Buzzerd
West Virginia University Men’s Basketball Team did not capitalize on a golden opportunity to win their third game in a row over a ranked opponent by losing a double overtime thriller to Oklahoma by a 91-90 count in Morgantown last Saturday. WVU led 72-70 with 30 seconds left before Umoja Gibson evened the score on a jumper, tying the game at 72-72. WVU had two shots on their final possession, but neither fell, sending the game to overtime.
In the first overtime period, OU led by three points, but the Mountaineers trimmed their deficit to two with 30 seconds left. A put back from Fairmont native Jalen Bridges evened the score at 79-79 with 20 seconds left. OU was unable to score at the other end, sending the game to double overtime.
In the second extra session, OU took a four-point lead in the first minute, but the Mountaineers responded with a 7-0 run. All of those points were scored by Derek Culver. Trailing 90-89 with 30 seconds left, Austin Reaves scored his 27th and 28th points of the game on one of his numerous drives in the lane.
The box score tells much of the story. West Virginia struggled from the foul line going 11 of 21 while the Sooners were a perfect 10 of 10 at the charity stripe. Oklahoma made 11 three pointers to WVU’s seven. The Mountaineers were just one of nine from beyond the arc in the first half and that was Miles McBride’s half court prayer at the first half buzzer. Sean McNeil got a hot hand in the second half knocking down five treys to keep the Mountaineers in the game.
West Virginia was originally scheduled to play Baylor twice this week, but those games have been postponed due to COVID issues at Baylor. Of course this Thursday’s game was a reschedule from the January 12 game postponed due to COVID at WVU. This leaves West Virginia with two games with Baylor and a game each with Oklahoma State and TCU to be made up.
We’ll see about that. As of now the Mountaineers’ next game will be this Saturday at Texas at 3 p.m.