MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Despite all the parables about being resilient and putting a three-game losing streak in the rear-view mirror, Juwan Staten sensed his teammates were on dangerous, depressing ground.
“Coming off of three straight losses, heads were starting to hang a little bit,” Staten admitted after West Virginia stopped its slide by beating Texas Tech 87-81 on Wednesday night.
“We were starting to get down on ourselves, but our coaches did a great job of keeping the energy level up in practice and getting us to go out there and compete like we knew we could.”
Despite being held scoreless during the game’s opening 13 minutes, Staten finished with 16 points. He also handed out seven assists, snatched five rebounds and made three steals—all while committing only a single turnover.
Two weeks after his 25-point performance in Lubbock, Staten became a force again.
“It’s hard when you have a point guard like Juwan who can break you down and go by two guys and three guys,” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. “We were just awful once he got to the basket as far as contesting the shot. We didn’t do a good job of bodying him. It looked like we were just jumping out of the way, because of his ability to maneuver and shot fake.
“And when he wasn’t doing that, he was finding his teammates for open shots. With seven assists, he was outstanding. It’s tough to guard.”
Watch Staten’s postgame interview above.