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Old 02-13-2018, 03:47 AM
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Default (20) West Virginia 82 Texas Christian 66
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Bob Huggins' decision to use almost his entire bench in the first half paid big dividends in the second half as 20th-ranked West Virginia pulled away from undermanned TCU with an 82-66 victory here at the WVU Coliseum tonight.

The Horned Frogs (17-9, 5-8) were down to eight available players with point guard Jaylen Fisher out for the season with a knee injury and junior guard Shawn Olden unavailable tonight.

Consequently, Huggins subbed guys in and out based on their energy level on the defensive end of the floor, and that strategy eventually paid off when subs Teddy Allen and Beetle Bolden began making shots.

"We'd play hard for a little bit and stop playing hard," Huggins said of his team's recent woes. "My message was we're going to play hard or you're not going to play. I don't care. You can go home or do whatever you are going to do because we're better off with people who are going to play hard."

After trailing by eight early, a five-point Bolden flurry tied the game at 14 and WVU eventually took its first lead on a Bolden jumper, 21-19, with 7:48 left in the first half.

Here, Wesley Harris and Allen took over. A Harris 3 from the wing gave the Mountaineers a 24-19 lead which eventually swelled to nine on an Allen drive. The freshman added the final bucket of the half with 59 seconds left to put WVU ahead by 11, 38-27.

A 10-4 TCU run to begin the second half cut West Virginia's lead to five, and the WVU lead was six, 46-40, when Allen ended a dry spell with a baseline basket. Daxter Miles Jr. added a basket down low, but another Horned Frog flurry got it back to a five-point game at the under-12 media timeout.

A Bolden transition basket when Kenrich Williams was called for goal tending got West Virginia's lead back to 10, 57-47, and it soon became 13 on Lamont West's 3 from the corner.

TCU free throws from Alex Robinson, Vladimir Brodziansky and JD Miller reduced it to eight, 67-59, at the final media time out but by then the Horned Frogs were out of gas.

A Noi 3, a Desmond Bane layup and an Ahmed Hamdy basket were the only field goals TCU scored during the final 3:39.

TCU shot just 42.9 percent for the night and was beaten on the glass, 38-29, by the Mountaineers.
"They turned the tables on us," TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. "They outrebounded us by nine and that's probably the difference."

West Virginia, after an abysmal shooting start, finished 31-of-61 from the floor, including 9-of-16 from 3 for 50.8 percent.

The contributions tonight came from up and down the bench for WVU this evening. Allen led the way with 16 points, Bolden contributed 14, Miles Jr. scored 13 and Harris added 11.

Afterward, Huggins thought Bolden was more effective playing fewer minutes tonight. He logged a season-high 35 minutes in Saturday's loss against Oklahoma State and that was nearly halved tonight with 17.

As a result, he made 5 of 9 from the floor and a couple of 3s for his most points since the Kentucky loss with 17.

"We've got to cut Beetle's minutes down a little bit," Huggins said. "If we would have played him 35 he would have done the same thing he did in those minutes because he played with so much more energy."

Sophomore Maciej Bender played one his best all-around games tonight by providing several hustle plays in place of starting center Sagaba Konate, who Huggins chose to sit on the bench for most of the first half. Bender scored just one basket, but he grabbed six rebounds, made three steals and blocked a shot in 16 minutes of action.

"He came in and played really hard and played himself into a basket and a bunch of rebounds and I thought he was really good," Huggins said.

Konate got Huggins' message and played much better in the second half, finishing with 8 points, five rebounds and four blocks.

Jevon Carter, coming off a career high 33-point performance on Saturday against Oklahoma State, finished with 9 points to move past Mark Workman and Warren Baker into 15th place on WVU's career scoring list with 1,558 points.

Carter handed out nine assists and made one steal, putting him one shy of 300 steals for his career.

"We cut JC's minutes, too," Huggins said. "He's been playing 40 and that's too many. We've got to get those other guys in."

West Virginia outscored TCU's bench 38-8. The Horned Frogs scored 19 points below their season average.

A crowd listed at 11,773 attended tonight's game.

"We don't shoot it great and we pass it below average so we've got to play hard and make things happen with our defense," Huggins said. "We've got to make it really hard on people and we've got to make people want the game to be over with because they're tired of us chasing them around.

"We are what we are."

The Mountaineers (19-7, 8-5) now have the rest of the week to get ready for Saturday's game at Kansas that will be televised nationally on ESPN. The ESPN College GameDay crew will be in Lawrence to cover the game.

The rematch will tip at 6 p.m.

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Old 02-13-2018, 09:13 AM
E's Army E's Army is offline
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Neers needed this win.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:45 AM
RealJokersWild24 RealJokersWild24 is offline
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Got to watch this one in the hotel. TCU threw over and had run-outs on WVU's pressure most of the night. If they had been able to go more than 7 deep, it might have been a different game.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:09 PM
E's Army E's Army is offline
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Huggy's boys will beat you in to submission
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