STILLWATER, Okla. — Behind a 3-point flurry from sixth man Phil Forte, Oklahoma State ran away from West Virginia 80-66 on Saturday.

Forte, sporting the No. 13 jersey for the first time after the team was reminded that No. 10 had been retired, scored a career-high 26 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range.

The 5-foot-11 freshman’s hot shooting helped the Cowboys close the first half on a 19-3 run to lead West Virginia 30-27.

West Virginia (9-10, 2-4 Big 12) seemingly embraced its first trip to Gallagher-Iba Arena by leading 24-11 after Juwan Staten scored a layup off an inbounds pass with six minutes left in the half. Cowboys coach Travis Ford bolted off the bench and called timeout almost as the ball dropped through the net, and Oklahoma State came out of the break sporting more fire and a zone defense.

That’s when Forte began his tear. Most of those shots were uncontested, including one he sank from the corner in transition to break a 27-all tie.

“It’s obvious — they made shots and we didn’t,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “We helped them by leaving them open to get them started. It’s a lot easier to make one after you’ve made a couple. We helped off the wrong people at the wrong times.”

Watching Forte make 3-pointers against minimal pressure wasn’t just confounding to Huggins. Two players sounded peeved about WVU’s defensive lapses.

Said forward Deniz Kilicli: “We don’t come help. It’s the only thing (Forte) can do, is get the ball and shoot it. He’s not going to create anything dribbling the ball. He’s not going to play pick-and-rolls or anything. He’s just going to come shoot the ball.”

And this from guard Eron Harris: “A few times the ball got turned loose and the guy on (Forte) left, and that left him open. Other times he shouldn’t have gotten any shots off. We just did dumb stuff. All he does is shoot.”

Markel Brown also had a season-high with 24 points for the Cowboys, including 4-of-6 shooting on 3s. Brown and Forte had combined for a 3-of-19 performance in Monday’s loss at Baylor.

Ironically, Oklahoma State (13-5, 3-3) won big despite seven turnovers from point guard Marcus Smart. The freshman All-American candidate had four assists, three steals and scored 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

“We were very hesitant early in the game,” said OSU’s Ford. “We didn’t handle the pressure early and we got caught chasing them on defense rather than guarding them. Once we started adjusting to their pressure, we were able to score a few more points.

“Then we jumped into a zone, and that helped us on both ends of the court. There were some long rebounds, and we were able to convert those into some open-court fast breaks to open the game up a little bit. We just got off to a slow start.”

Harris led West Virginia with 17 points, including 5-of-8 on 3s. Kilicli contributed 12 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two assists before fouling out with 6:35 left. Aaric Murray came off the bench for a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Oklahoma State’s Philip Jurick added eight points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and three assists.

Forte’s jersey change was an odd storyline. OSU’s No. 10 was retired two years ago in memory of the 10 players, coaches and administrators killed in a 2001 plane crash. Coincidentally, Sunday is the anniversary of that tragedy, prompting a “Remember The 10” theme.

“I can’t complain — 13 worked well today,” said Forte. “I’m going to stay with that number. I understand the circumstance. It’s out of my control, and it’s for a good reason.”

 

 

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Comments

  • JimJim

    Don't go to the games & don't donate any money, if you want change. Watch the games on TV, or go to a sports bar and drink. Drinking (which WVU is all for.) will help with the pain of watching the game.

  • IDIOTS

    I usually just come on here to read the articles and dont usually read comments but you people wanting Huggins to go are just flat out idiots. if we dont have devi ebacks nd kevin jones we dont go to the Final Four a couple years ago. Desean would not have been as good without Huggins. And if he was so bad to play for why did all of Beilien's boy play so well for Huggins?????? Get a life.

  • shawn

    Why did they play for Huggs at Cincy? Cause he's a great coach. Who would you rather have? Please everybody put out there candidate.

    • big tom

      you can't live on your reputation, you're as good as your last game, and that ain't any good

      • shawn

        Your team is as good as your fan base too! When they aren't with you things never improve. If I were a player I wouldn't come to this school because of you and your negativity. I'm never ashamed of our teams but I'm always ashamed at our fans.

        • big tom

          i wouldn't come to school here either because of the stupid people like you that they admit to wvu.

          • shawn

            Wow big fella...don't cut me too deep! Haha

            Once again lack of education shines right through in your post! What are you 7? Haha

          • Alum

            Hey guy, you said about a week ago that you have two degrees from WVU. Are you dumb too? Grow up or go root for that school 75 miles north of Morgantown.

          • Stan

            Amazing. Obese tom, I don't know why you even post comments.

  • shawn

    Go back to your hole and shut your face!

  • Walt2204

    I get so sick and tired if reading these knee-jerk reactions after a loss from a bunch of "fans" that obviously have zero appreciation for the teams or university. People who have know idea what they are talking about should not be given the opportunity to expresse their opinions. I suppose the fact that this coaching staff has been to the tournament the last five years in a row and the final four means nothing it's all about right now. Asinine!

  • shawn

    Haha...five consecutive NCAA Tourney appearances and you are throwing the coach and team to the dogs over a bad season in a new conference with alot of new players. Spoiled Fans much? Get over it and support your team.

    • WVWho

      Wow showing up to a tourney is great...going one and done twice and lucking into a second round while getting to a final four with another coaches players...yea he's legendary!

    • Big Mike

      You are right shawn!
      These guys are a buch of know nothings!!!

    • WILLIAM

      ONLY TIME HUGGINS HAS WON AT WVU WAS WITH BEILEIN PLAYERS! HUGGINS HAS BEEN A FAILURE AT WVU. WHY WOULD ANY BASKETBALL PLAYER EVER COME TO WVU TO PLAY FOR THIS COACH! ANY BASKETBALL RECRUITS OUT THERE, STAY AWAY FROM WVU BECAUSE THIS COACH THROWS HIS PLAYERS UNDER THE BUS ALL THE TIME!

    • big tom

      let his record speak for itself. as beilein recruits exited the program , our record went down hill.. just look is all i say. Now what is wrong with this picture?
      Either huggie can't coach anymore, has other interests, or the recruits are subpar...
      last year , Miles was a starter and huggs told us how great he would be,,,we haven't seen that yet. we were told how murray and staten would help the program, each one has been left behind for at least one to two games, didn't even dress.. for three yrs. we were told how great kilicili would be, it never happened, he is a toxic virus to the chemistry to this team. So am i confused, or is huggie just trying to sell season tickets with all this BS, so he can get another bonus to the huge salary.
      Luck has to look at this new contract and wonder why in the world did he do this.. I ask, use performance clauses, low base pay with big perfor. clauses..everyone in college athletics should do this...
      we are in a sad situation with our BB and FB programs and each coach seems to be in over their heads, as for huggie, maybe the game has passed him by, he would n't be the first coach to have this happen...and maybe holgie wasn't ready for prime time,, i don't have the answers but i don't make what luck makes... this problem needs solved now.

  • WILLIAM

    FIRE BOB " I'LL STILL BE TRYING TO FIX IT IN FEBRUARY" HUGGINS.

  • Jethro

    All u Marshall fans are on the wrong post. I support not tear down my team!

    • WILLIAM

      Does the truth hurt Jethro?

      • graywv

        Truth is you "so called FANS", are going off the deep end "all is lost scenaro". Look at the past, we were always respective, and we will be again, YES this team is lost right now, ONE bad apple can spoil the whole basket, and I am afraid this is what has happened. Coach's are having a hard time, because this has never happened to them before. We are "MOUNTAINEERS" and we don't turn on our friends/family when things go bad or other West Virginians! This when you stand up for them and give them SUPPORT!

        • Stan

          Agreed graywv, the amount of negativity from some of these so called "fans" is just ridiculous.

  • big tom

    i say we lose 20 games and ollie gives huggie a raise. and extends his contract.. o" wait a minute, he just did that...

    • WILLIAM

      BOB " I DON'T KNOW, I DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING" HUGGINS makes over Ten Thousand Dollars a day, WVU has alot of money! The whole athletic Dept. is overpaid!

    • Roy

      I told a friend the same thing today!!

  • Larry

    There’s a stigma in sports about saying things like “Just wait until Next Year.” It’s a phrase WVU Fans are becoming far too comfortable with. Yes, the team is filled with many freshman and sophomores. We get that. The “Wait until Next Year” thing is getting very old and tiresome.

    So please, enough about next season OK? It’s getting very old…

    Those of you who were predicting a WVU upset…what were you thinking? Do you actually watch any of the games?

    And also, no more talk about this team getting better, improving or Huggins turning things around. After 19 games, this team is about as good as they are going to get. Is a Magic Basketball Genie going to come down and give them magical powers? No. This year’s team and season is a wash. What else can be said that hasn’t already been said? The WVU Basketball Program is a total disaster; FEMA couldn’t help at this point.

    And what in Heaven’s sweet name was Huggins and his entire coaching staff wearing? That was beyond outrageous. It has evolved from the all Black smock pullover pajama tops to the All Dark Blue with Wide White stripped Bozo the clown suits…complete with matching pants. What will this evolve into? What is Huggins thinking? What is Oliver Luck really thinking? What are you thinking?

    Anyway, this is just my opinion and I think everyone is entitled to hear it.

  • big tom

    we should have never gone into the big 12, we just can't compete. we should now try to get in the CUSA or MAC. It was just a huge mistake thinking we could recruit the level of talent that beilein had.

    • Wvuelite

      The most idiotic comment i've read in a long time. go root for marshall...they are in the conference USA

  • big tom

    regretfully, this is not a good or even fair team. the players are not talented or atheltic, and since we lost all of beilein's players, we have headed down hill.. this is turning out to be a terrible team.
    Huggie has fallen down or recruiting and coaching them up..
    I hate to say it, but this team won't be any better next year, the talent is just not there.

  • WILLIAM

    Did you see how terrible Huggins and his coaching staff looked - WEARING SWEATSUITS THAT WERE PENN STATE COLORS! Just liked the football team did at the Pinstripe Bowl. WVU should change their school colors, because these coaches don't like BLUE AND GOLD.

    • WILLIAM

      I WOULD LOVE TO SEE WVU PLAY PENN STATE AND THESE COACHES WEAR THOSE SWEATSUITS! PENN STATE COLORS.

    • Roy

      Total agreement, we are Gold and Blue, not Black and Silver????Why these rogue colors???

  • WILLIAM

    It's not the players, IT'S VERY POOR COACHING FROM BOB"I'LL FIX IT" HUGGINS

    • Jim

      William, I have to agree with you. We had the 13 point lead just before half and 4 timeouts left. Huggins did not use one of them to try to hault the OSU comeback. Why not?!!! Very poor coaching!!!

  • Jethro

    Great to see Dennis improving