MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — During stretches when Terry Henderson’s jump shots aren’t falling, he recoils into a low-impact version of himself, unable to hear his teammates over his own conscience.

Those teammates wish he’d ignore the C-word.

“Sometimes when he misses a couple of shots he tries to go away from it and do other things,” said West Virginia point guard Juwan Staten. “But we need him to shoot the ball. When he’s open he needs to let it fly.”

During an entertaining 87-81 win Wednesday night, Henderson let fly with certitude, scoring 20 of his career-best 28 points in the second half to one-up Texas Tech sharp-shooter Dusty Hannahs.

BOXSCORE: West Virginia 87, Texas Tech 81

Was it coincidence Henderson’s best college game occurred four days after his worst? Or did the fallout from his 1-for-8 bummer at Kansas State on Saturday trigger some suppressed aggression in the sophomore guard?

“(K-State) was probably the worst game of the season for me,” Henderson said. “I just knew I had to bounce back, had to come out and play harder, had to come out in attack mode.”

“Attack” essentially was the message Staten texted to Henderson after the Mountaineers returned from a 22-point mauling in Manhattan, Kan., where Henderson’s only bucket came late in the already-decided game. Staten wasn’t offering feel-good encouragement so much as be-good insistence.

MORE: Staten relieved WVU ended three-game skid

Henderson responded with two 3s on his way to eight points in the opening five minutes and WVU led 17-6. Upon missing his next three shots, however, and failing to score again the rest of the half, Henderson looked ripe to go quiet as WVU led just 40-39.

That’s when the prodding of teammates, and Henderson’s own inspiration to mimic his NBA heroes, sparked a 7-for-7 second half.

“I’ve been doing research during my down time—studying Ray Allen and guys like that,” he said. “Those guys are always looking at the next shot, not the last one. That’s something I’ve needed to work on.”

For a variety of reasons—from Remi Dibo’s benching, to Devin Williams’ foul trouble, to Texas Tech’s equally efficient 3-point shooting—West Virginia (11-8, 3-3 Big 12) needed Henderson to deliver far more than the two points he produced at K-State.

“I’ lying if I told you I thought he would go 10-of-13 and get 28, but I thought he would play much better,” Huggins said.

HANNAHS HANGS 25
A sizzling second-half shootout materialized between Henderson and Tech’s Hannahs, who nailed 7-of-7 from 3-point range—several from a spot on the right wing at least 25 feet from the basket. Though displeased about WVU letting such a heavily scouted shooter finding a comfort zone, Huggins admitted Hannahs dropped shots from beyond the range of typical defense.

“He made some shots that normally you’d say, ‘Let him shoot that,’” Huggins said. “There were a couple where Terry said he just didn’t think (Hannahs) would shoot it from that far.

“He had a heck of a game. I don’t think that’s the norm, but he had a heck of a game.”

While WVU’s Eron Harris credited Henderson for “playing with ultimate confidence,” he reserved some compliments for Hannahs: “He was feeling it tonight. I’ve got to give it to him. He’s a lot better than he was last year.”

The baby-faced Hannahs, a sophomore like Henderson, deflected postgame talk about the one-on-one matchup.

“He’s a great shooter that caught fire, and I guess I caught fire, too,” Hannahs said. “But they won—that’s all that matters.”

ON THE BOARDS
After being outrebounded 35-26 in Lubbock, West Virginia held a 29-26 edge in the rematch.

And the Mountaineers did so with leading rebounder Devin Williams on the bench for the final 14:39 after picking up his third and fourth fouls in compressed fashion.


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Comments

  • In da stickes

    The takeaway from this win is we are 3 and 3 in league play with the toughest part of the schedule yet to come. I like how we are jelling. .500 in the Big XII brings a ticket to the big dance. Long way to go but it's nice to have hope. HailWV.

  • OKANYDAY

    Good win for us last night. Made the trip to Morgantown from Parkersburg and enjoyed attending the game. Travel was sort of rough, but the Mounties played hard and was glad to be there with my son. The only thing I still don't like is Huggins wearing his tent court-side; he looks and acts terrible at best.

  • justin

    I will never understand why Coach Huggins places a guy thats on fire on the bench for long periods of time. Ex: Henderson didn't come off ths bench in the 2ND half till nearly 4 minutes ran off, even better he was benched again after playing a short periodof time. I viewed Gary Browne make a steal and basket to see him get screamed at by our coach. I understand coaching styles be it a family coach type to your military type in bobby knight...im just saying reward and praise good plays plzzzzzzz

  • GFS

    Just heard the news that Josh Kroc o line from Ohio just flipped from WV to KY. Not a word from Rivals or Scout about this. His name just disappeared from the list. Well 19 recruits left of our 44th ranked class. 44 with him included

  • Magic Mike

    The team now just needs consistent games. If they can play consistently they will win the tough games.

    • Capt Obvious

      They'll need to play better than they did last night in order to beat anyone in the Big XII except TTU and TCU.

  • GFS

    Very nice win last night. We looked very good at times on both sides of the ball. Football recruiting note. I see the three star receiver, Chris Worton is listed as a soft verbal for Florida State and four star running back that we seemed to be in front, Donte Thomas Williams is visiting NC State this weekend. He had a very good visit with us last weekend. Was hoping ours was his last. I am sure NC state will put on the major push and instate guilt trip. Allan if you read this please add any news on these players or others.

  • GoEers

    This was a much needed win. WVU plays all ranked opponents starting Saturday thru Feb. 26th. That's unbelievable stretch of games. Such is life in the #1 rated RPI conference.

  • Charleston

    I am assuming since the Mountaineers won last night that we won't have a barrage of negative comments from Larry, Moe, and Curly......

    • stevewvu

      they are all very upset that wvu won

  • john b

    8 oclock game on a Wednesday night in not perfect weather conditions. Throw in a bad opponent and the fact we are still trying to find our identity and your going have less than stellar crowds.

  • steve

    Ever notice after a win there is nothing from William and the Master of Dumb?

  • TIRED OF BS

    where are the marshall trolls William (herd91) and OKANYDAY, since you are suppose to be big WVU fans, nothing to say on a win Huh? thats what I figured

    • stevewvu

      the trolls only come out when WVU loses...that gives them some relief from enduring another losing Marshall basketball season and a 26th straight year of missing the NCAA tournament

  • Jack

    Shooting was really good last night. Team seems to lose focus at times and their play gets sloppy. Need to improve on defense or they won't get too far in the Big 12 Tourney. They tend to play well when their confidence is high.

    • Red Dwarf

      "They tend to play well when their confidence is high." Gee, you think? LOL!

      • Jack

        You missed the point. Being a team of very young and inexperienced Division I players, their confidence can be destroyed real quick. You can see them playing with extreme confidence and playing hard and then something goes array and mistakes abound. I want this team to do well and I think they will be a force to reckon with in the future.

  • jay ziehm

    like woodchuck says the WVU women won last night as well (big) don"t get the publicity they deserve. were suppose to be on FM 94.3 they weren't but the men were. one win does not mean jack well see what they do against Oklahoma state. winning season in the big 12 in 2014 doubtful. But the women will wonder what kind of recognition they will get for that probably less than what the men will get for having A LOSING SEASON. lets GO MOUNTAINEERS especially the LADIES

    • GoEers

      men's basketball team won, so jay ziehm complains about the coverage of the women's team. jay you are a whiny little girl.

    • justin

      yeah there is a reason why. womens bball is lame man.. give it a rest

      • wow

        Lame, I bet most of the girls on the team could take you in a game of one on one. Besides being able to dunk, they play better basketball than men's basketball. Besides, Justin, your posts are lame, but you still post them.

      • shawn

        It may be lame to some but you should cheer for them no matter what.

  • 5toldU1s

    Weird. Actually Williams is an excellent free throw shooter.

  • Hop'sHip

    As one who has taken cheap shots at Dusty because he doesn't look like what I expect a basketball player should, I eat my crow and admit he is pretty good, with no double entendre intended with the use of the word "pretty".