Joe Sadlek/All-Pro Photography

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins repeated his “We’re close” mantra after the Mountaineers fell 73-72 to No. 11 Oklahoma State.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Join Allan Taylor for live updates from throughout Saturday afternoon’s Oklahoma State-West Virginia game at the WVU Coliseum:

Smart ended with 22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Nash had 18 points and Brown 12. West Virginia got 21 points and eight rebounds from Staten, 20 from Henderson, 12 from Williams and 11 from a mostly ineffective Harris. WVU falls to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in the league, missing another chance to make hay against a future NCAA tourney team. OSU improves to 14-2 and 2-1.
Henderson’s 3 gave WVU a 72-70 lead, but Markel Brown answered with a 3 for Oklahoma State with 11.6 seconds left. CLUTCH! … West Virginia’s final possession boiled down to Staten penetrating and trying a difficult layup. After a scrum in the lane, OSU came out with the rebound and Nash was fouled with 0.6 seconds left.
OKLAHOMA STATE 68, WEST VIRGINIA 67 (3:55 second half)
The Cowboys had a five-point edge after Smart was left open for a 3 against WVU’s zone. But Henderson countered with a 3—benefiting from a shooter’s bounce—and Staten raced downcourt for an acrobatic left-handed layup to tie the game at 67-all. WVU had been in a 2-of-12 shooting funk.
OKLAHOMA STATE 62, WEST VIRGINIA 57 (7:48 second half)
With Smart on the bench, Oklahoma State goes on a 9-2 run—a crucial stretch indeed. West Virginia committed two silly turnovers during the run, one on a sloppy pass by Brandon Watkins, and the other on a baseline exchange between Williams and Brown after an OSU basket.
OKLAHOMA STATE 54, WEST VIRGINIA 52 (10:58 second half)
Henderson isn’t known for his defense, but he swatted shots by Nash and Brown to bring the crowd back to life—and in between he sank a 3 to cap a 7-0 run that restored WVU to a 50-47 lead. Alas, Oklahoma State countered with a 7-2 run culminating in Forte’s 3 in transition. … POTENTIALLY BIG HAPPENING: Smart picked up his third foul at the 12:19 mark and checked out. (He has 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting.) We could be headed for an enthralling finish.
OKLAHOMA STATE 47, WEST VIRGINIA 45 (15:40 second half)
Smart’s 3-pointer from the wing gives the Cowboys their first lead of the game, 46-43. After a Nash free throw, the lead grew to four points. Harris ends West Virginia’s string of six consecutive missed shots with a twisting runner in the lane between Smart and Brown.
Both teams are shooting 45 percent from the floor, and WVU owns a 21-19 edge in rebounding. The Cowboys are 4-of-10 from 3-point range, while WVU is 5-of-13. As anticipated, OSU has gotten to the line more: 7-of-9 for the visitors to 2-of-2 for WVU. … Oklahoma State is led by Smart’s 12 points and seven rebounds, while Le’Bryan Nash has scored 9. For WVU, Staten has 12 points, four rebounds and five assists, while Henderson has scored 10. Williams has six points and five rebounds.
Forte launches a running 3 in transition that ties it at 39-all with 1:02 left. After Henderson hurried a 3 attempting to answer, OSU couldn’t convert and WVU called timeout with 16 seconds left to stage its final shot of the half. Huggins’ design works perfectly as Devin Williams scores on a low-post basket (yes, they still have those in West Virginia) with 2 seconds left.
WEST VIRGINIA 39, OKLAHOMA STATE 35 (1:29 first half)
Harris picked up his second foul, a foolish one defending Brown in the backcourt. Now West Virginia might rue the first foul Harris picked up early in the half—a questionable touch foul. Harris has five points on 2-of-6 shooting so far, and WVU shooting 46 percent overall. The rebounding is starting to tighten up as expected, with WVU now up 20-17.
WEST VIRGINIA 37, OKLAHOMA STATE 30 (3:22 first half)
Staten and Henderson in double figures and WVU 5-of-10 from 3-point range, but those nine offensive rebounds are looming large for West Virginia. In an effort to slow down WVU’s attack, Ford has deployed a halfcourt trap a few times. So far the Mountaineers have handled it. … And Remi Dibo has returned from his flu-induced exile with two 3-pointers as well.
WEST VIRGINIA 29, OKLAHOMA STATE 24 (7:55 first half)
Immediately out of the second media timeout, Oklahoma State nails back-to-back 3s (Stevie Clarke and Forte). But Terry Henderson and Harris answer with 3s of their own. Henderson is looking super aggressive so far on 4-of-7 shooting and four assists. … Not to be overlooked: WVU leads 15-9 in rebounding.
WEST VIRGINIA 17, OKLAHOMA STATE 12 (11:54 first half)
With eight points on 3-of-3 shooting, Juwan Staten is more than holding his own against Smart. He beat the All-American via backcut for a layup and then stole the ball as Smart received instruction from coach Travis Ford. Smart has five points to lead OSU, which is 0-of-5 from 3-point range, including three wide-open misses by Phil Forte.
Oklahoma State, blessed with several athletic slashers, has taken a league-high 472 free throws this season. In the same amount of games, West Virginia has attempted 340 (third-fewest in the Big 12). Marcus Smart’s 77 made foul shots lead the league, while Markel Brown is third with 73 makes. (WVU’s Juwan Staten is second with 74). The Cowboys shoot 71 percent overall from the line and WVU makes 69 percent.
Bob Huggins on Oklahoma State’s band of thoroughbreds: “They’re the most athletic team we’ve played to this point and we’ve got to keep them out of transition. And the best way to keep them out of transition is score. We can’t bang (shots) off the front of the rim, because that’s an outlet pass and they’re off to the races.”
This will be the Cowboys’ third game without power forward Michael Cobbins, who was sidelined for the rest of the season by the dreaded ruptured Achilles. In two wins over WVU last season, Cobbins averaged 8.5 points, 8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. “He was their rim protector,” said Huggins, but the rest of the OSU defense can pick up the slack. “Smart’s made some eye-popping blocks,” Huggins said.
Eron Harris has reached double figures scoring in 14 of 15 games this season. (His eight-point outing at Missouri, when he played only 19 minutes, was the exception.) … WVU figures to need a man-sized effort from freshman Devin Williams, who’s averaging 9.9 points and 7.7 rebounds. He’ll team up with Brandon Watkins, who had one block in his first nine games before swatting 10 in his last five games.
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  • Rich

    Great effort which makes me optimistic about getting some more road wins and a home upset or two. Have to find a way to finish these games! We are always going to be outclassed from a talent perspective. Feel like we are a different team when Henderson is taking/making shots. Harris and Browne struggled today. I guess Browne realized today that OK St has best backcourt in Big 12.

    • Bottom Feeder

      Looks like they are maybe a Holton or Macon away.....

  • madhatter

    one thing for sure,,, this is a great bunch of kids on this team,,,, i want them to win so badly, it really really hurts and i know it hurts them,,, and a good win will help their confidence... i have to agree with huggie,,, they seem to be getting closer and closer,,,go eers

  • bill

    I don't think we can blame it on the Refs, the biggest problem was Harris and Brown forgot to show up! Where was Debo the 2nd half?

  • Toadman

    With each game these kids are getting better and better. They are making me a believer that our basketball team is out of the cellar and on their way to being a very, very good team. I know they are disappointed, but they are really fun to watch and I believe they will get better with each game. They are slowly proving they can play with almost anybody. Keep working, stay grounded and good things will happen! Goooooooooo Mountaineers!

    • Dave

      Excellent comment.

  • madhatter

    the refs stold it and huggies says the team just doesn't know how to play to the end...make your own conclusions

  • mark

    Staten got hit in the legs from behind on the last shot. Don't see how Devin kept from tipping it in. He had a clear lane for the followup. Really needed Eron tonight.. Was he in on the last play? Seems like OSU would have had to spread out more to guard him and Henderson. As it was, OSU laid in wait at the basket and made it a tougher shot.

  • nashville cat

    i watched huggie's post game comments,,, just as i thought, "the players screwed it up once again",, not the coaching,,, the players.
    and we're this close>>>>>>sos
    don't some of you kool-aid drinkers kinda start seein thru huggi'es smoke screen? i mean , just a little bit??
    If we can't beat these guys at home , do we really expect to beat them away?>
    But it's the players' fault no his...sad, it's just sad,,
    we won't win 5 more games, mark my words and huggie continues to drag us in the mud .

    • sput

      your stupid

    • J the C

      This was an outstanding performance against the # 11 team in the country, and your complaint is...?

    • Troll

      And why is it with your knowledge you're watching the post game interview instead of giving them? I'm sure you could out coach a washed up has been. More bonehead comments from the peanut gallery! Good try just need some to step up, they need to decide if they are going to a premier player in all games or just against lower competition (Harris ).

    • Oh Did Ya?

      I'll take over 5 wins the rest if the way.

    • Aaron

      Who makes the plays?

  • Wirerowe

    I was ready to give up on Bobby thought time had passed him by and he was losing it with all his ranting and bellyaching.He has changed his team to get more shooters and is keeping up with the game. They are young, seem to be in sync and look like they will get better. Very pleased so far with this team . Proud of all the players.

  • Magic Mike

    This team is going to win some great games. You take number 11 down to the wire. Huggs has this team moving in the right direction. We will fine.

    • Dave

      I wholeheartedly agree.

  • nashville cat

    again, the refs stold one from us,,, how many times does this have to happen before the ncaa takes a look at it.
    it's the same ole thing , our HOF coach did all he could from a coaching standpoint, and the refs and our players just didn't do what it took to win,, under the bus you go boys, do you really in all your dreams think a hof coach would blame himself?

    • sput

      stupid comment

  • RJ

    Hard loss Mountaineers. However, after looking at that last shot attempt it sure looked like our player was fouled but the ref would not blow the whistle. I guess a little mid-west bias!!

  • leroy j gibbs

    So sad all that hard work for nothing

    • Dave

      It wasn't all for nothing. We gained big game experience. We're not there yet. Lots of little things to clean up. We've got some good players. We're going to win one of these big games soon.

      • Andy

        Big game experience won't matter if we don't win enough games to make the tourney. Just saying.

  • Brew4WVU

    LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!! Keep it up!!

  • leroy j gibbs

    New rival in the making?

  • Dub V Fan

    I believe the OSU football team was also ranked #11 when we took them down. Go eers !!!