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

  • Bull

    It's like no one can accept a bad season in a transition year. New conference people the bball team is young and so was the D in football for Pete's sake people be realistic.

  • Jethro

    Kids these days get their feelings hurt easily. They can't take criticism. They have been told all their lives they are the best mainly by their parents. They can't deal with it when the coach yells at them

  • wvtomd

    hey big tom, i have a GED and do just fine. you are no better than any other person on here just because you claim to have a sheepskin. maybe over educated with a distinct lack of common sense. d no doubt. what a way to judge a person. shallow.

  • wvtomd

    would not want huggins job. looks like he has a group of kids who could care less what he says to them. let us give him a bad year, hell, who has not had one of those. no doubt this current group of players are just not very good and unable to learn.
    hope coach gets a grip on the new generation of kids, i do not think he has kept up with the times. if not it could be a few long years. Jack, it seems it would be hard for a team to ever have much chemistry when the players do not stay longer than a year or 2.

  • Don Quixote

    If Huggins has already taken responsibility for this mess, why does he continue to criticize players? All he has to say is "some of the guys are not D1 talent, it is my fault for putting them in a position to fail by recruiting them in the first place, we will fix it at the end of the season".

    Get rid of the dummies who can't shoot or play defense and recruit new guys who can shoot, play defense and are smarter than the average lemur.

  • Pghmountaineer

    Big Tom, you're right. I don't buy the fact that we can't recruit 4 and 5 star recruits to Morgantown. It's a great college town just like 95% of the major universities in the country. I also get the fact that we're having a down year. But there's a trend here and it's going backwards. It's clear the last 3 years this program was sliding. Hard to believe after coming off of a final 4 trip but thta;s what's happening. When we hired Rich Rod his first 4 years were mediocre at best but we all saw an upward trend that was occuring as he went along. I'm not advocating hiring Rich Rod I'm just trying to make a point. Look at the trend of the program. It's spiriling downward.

  • Brad

    WV is getting used to losing. If my math is correct - the basketball team is 13 - 19 in its last 32 games (they lost 9 of their last 13 games last season). That is not a good record by anyone's standards.
    However, I am not quick to blame the players. Afterall, these are not professional players and from what I have seen - they appear to be giving it their best and I will continue to support them. I do question some of Huggins tactics. He has been quick to throw players under the bus and both his body language and attitude have been very negative. I think he is too quick to pull a player out of a game when they make a mistake (this makes the players uptight and they are thinking too much and not getting into the flow of the game). He has made several comments hinting that he has given up on this team. He recurited them and he needs to coach them but in a more positive way.

  • big tom

    too many fans, like alum and shawn, think mediocrity is the key to wvu athletics. Both ,by their posts , definitely show they never opened a door in college, and probably are GED grads if they have that.
    If you , alum and shawn , aim low , that's what you get, and by your posts, you are completely satisfied with our performances.
    sad , really sad.

    • Alum

      No idiot. I just can't stand negative, whinny nannies like you.

      I also love how you call out the academic accomplishments of those who disagree with you. Not that I need to divulge this form my sae, but just for your information idiot, I have two undergraduate degrees and a graduate degree - all in science and engineering.

      Go root for pitt. There is something I would much rather call you xylene-soluble one but I'll be classy and leave it alone.

      BTW, how is it living in mommy's basement?

    • Stan

      Your post show that you didn't even get a GED. Wow that is some bad spelling and grammar. Now, I know this is just a message board, and I'm not one for criticizing spelling or grammar on a messafe board...but...come on. My 4 year old spells better and uses better grammar than obese tom.

  • Matt

    We have the worst fair weather fans in the country and it's embarrassing. Let's run ol' coach Huggs out of town just like we ran Bobby Bowden out of town. That worked out well right? Huggs is a hall of fame coach and he's doing his best to turn this thing around. It's not going to happen this year, but stop blaming it all on the coach. I have class with these players and I can tell you they aren't the smartest people on the face of the earth, and their basketball I.Q. obviously isn't much better.

  • Alum

    OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hate it when I get hit by a piece of falling sky.

    The only thing I hate worse are fair weather fans. Why don't you negative nannies all go root for some other team. WVU is having a down year. It happens from time to time. Get over it.

  • Pghmountaineer

    I'll pose this thought; what if Oliver Luck came down to the bench 3 or 4 times a game and screamed and yelled at Huggs in front of everyone. How would he react?
    I think we all know the answer to that.

    • WILLIAM

      JUWAN STATEN showed HUGGINS what he thought of him, when he gave HUGGINS the finger just before half-time of TEXAS game!

  • Pghmountaineer

    This program is a mess. First of all you have players who need coached up because their talent level is below average. And what happens, you have a coach that verbally abuses them on and off the court and all of it in public. How could that possibly motivate anyone to want to try and play harder when you know if you make a mistake you will be publically berated. This team is disfunctional and so is the coaching. Anyone who has watched this team during the season can see that.

  • Jethro

    They all sound like rick Reilly

    • Alum

      Good point. Maybe it's all Reeky and he's just using different screen names.

  • Barney

    There is not one person posting on this site that has a clue what the heck they are talking about. Unless, of course, one of you is using an alias and you're really Bobby Knight.

    • Justin

      Clearly our coaching staff doesn't have a clue either...

  • In da stickes

    I've been in a coma for 3 months. When did Huggs hire Holgerson's defensive coordinator?