Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart scored 23 and Juwan Staten poured in 20 during their first meeting in Morgantown on Jan. 11. The Big 12’s top point guards match up again Saturday in Stillwater.


STILLWATER, Okla. — Rewind to that nip-and-tuck afternoon Jan. 11 in Morgantown, when Marcus Smart added to his All-American credentials with 22 points and 13 rebounds in Oklahoma State’s 73-72 victory.

Yet no stats factored into his last-second, game-saving hustle—a sequence Bob Huggins described as “the play of the year.”

The Cowboys clung to a one-point edge as Juwan Staten’s twisting layup spun off the rim. Though West Virginia’s best rebounder, 6-foot-8 freshman Devin Williams, was in position for the follow-up tip, the 6-4 Smart got hand on the ball to jar the rebound loose.

Williams wound up flat-backed on the court in disbelief while Smart and Oklahoma State celebrated a tense road victory.

“From where he came from to break up the rebound attempt from Devin Williams, that’s a player,” Huggins said. “That’s a guy who continues to play.”

Saturday’s rematch at Gallagher-Iba Arena finds the programs seemingly on different planets, with Oklahoma State ranked 11th in the AP poll and WVU having lost three out of four, yet the Mountaineers sit only a half-game back in the Big 12 standings.

After edging Texas Tech 7-81 on Wednesday night, Eron Harris and his teammates recalled the close call two weeks ago.

“Let’s go beat Oklahoma State,” Harris said, “because we owe them one.”

Tipoff: Saturday 2 p.m. in Stillwater, Okla. (ESPN2)
Records: The No. 11 Cowboys (15-3, 3-2) haven’t played since last Saturday’s 80-78 loss at Kansas and should be fresh after taking the next two days off.  … The Mountaineers (11-8, 3-3), who had a light practice Thursday in order to get their legs back, are 0-7 against the RPI top 106 this season.
RPIs: Oklahoma State is No. 13 and WVU is No. 103.
Coach: Travis Ford (276-213 overall in 17 seasons) owns a 119-67 record in his sixth season with the Cowboys, including a 1-3 mark in three NCAA tournament berths.
OSU top players:Smart has taken over the league lead in scoring (17.8) and continues to be the runaway leader in steals (2.6). In the four games since forward Michael Cobbins was lost to a season-ending Achilles injury, Smart has averaged 10.5 rebounds. Detractors are nitpicking his game by claiming he’s an exaggerated flopper. … Athletic guard Markel Brown (16.8 points per game) has scored in double figures every game save one this season. He nearly came up short in Morgantown before his decisive 3-pointer with 11.9 seconds left gave him 12 points. … Le’Bryan Nash (13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds) scored 18 in the first meeting, and watch out for sixth man Phil Forte, who drained 7-of-10 from 3-point range against Kansas. The sophomore is now making 50 percent from behind the line.

WVU roster notes: Eron Harris (17.4 points) and Juwan Staten (17.2) are third and fourth in Big 12 scoring, while Staten tops the conference in assists (5.95) and ranks fourth in field-goal shooting (52.8 percent). The point guard also pulls down 5.8 rebounds a game, the same average as Kansas phenom Andrew Wiggins. … In the mother of all bounce-back games, Terry Henderson scored a career-high 28 against Texas Tech, and he did it with an even split of five baskets from 3-point range and five from inside the line. The guard also has blocked a shot in six consecutive games after having six all of last season. … We’ll watch to see if Remi Dibo has climbed out of Huggins’ doghouse. The 6-9 forward did not see action against Texas Tech after making too many errors in the morning shoot-around.

Line: Oklahoma State favored by 14.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 83-65
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    Good Luck Eers, you can beat Okie St. in a team effort. Get it done !

  • Jim Moltzer

    First of all, any team can beat any other team in the Big 12. I hate to say that we did have two no-shows with Texas and K-State but this team is young and is getting better as a team. They are learning to play as a team. It is hard to play while you are thinking which makes you a step slower.
    To win this game today, it will take an all out effort of every player to play as a team to play defense, to rebound the ball, and win the battle of the glass.
    On the offense, pass the ball and run good offense plays so you can take good shots and get to the line. It's time that we take the next step forward ... I can only pray for a win but the day is coming and hope it starts today .... LET'S GO MOUNTAINEERS!

  • tw eagle

    OSU had to be embarrassed by how closely the Mounties kept the last contest . . . final outcome will depend upon the Mounties mindset . . . if the Mounties THINK they are as good as the OSU team , they will not concentrate &work hard enough to stay in the game . . . the Mounties are an outmanned , undersized team that MUST scrap for all they are worth to win ball games . . .

    how about a little "outside the box " thinking & planning .. . . in coach Fred Schaus' tenure at WVU , he employed a full court zone press to open games (at least in the Field House) . . . with four excellent backcourt men available , and five good sized forwards , why not design a defense to pressure the opponents from the opening tap . . . employ three guards and two forwards , and sub liberally to keep the guys fresh . . . i'll bet you can really throw a monkey wrench into plans of teams thinking the WVU game will be a "walkover" . . .

    • mad hatter

      hey dope, we only have 9 players on scholarship,,, i'll let you figure it out from here.

      • tw eagle

        I'm not especially happy with how the fortunes of the WVU BB or football teams have fared lately - it would seem that you are feeling the same way . . . belly aching & pointing fingers at others does nothing but waste energy & confuse those who come here to try and sort out which way the futures of the WVU sports programs will be headed . . .

        AT posts story lines to elicit feedback from his followers on this site . . . your posts are starting to resemble William&big larry . . . yes , there are problems attaining a winning record & attitude - but ranting that people are overpaid & should be fired . . . put a little thought into your posts . . .

  • BAD Dawg

    Mad hater you have to get your licks in before West Virginia Plays because I have noticed you do not make a post when they win... You are full of hate then you say ... We.. Us ... Our .. You are not a True fan .. You show too much hate and hard heart toward people you have never had the opportunity to meet (The faculty at the University of WVU ) being born in West Virginia don't make you a fan of a true one at that.

    • mad hatter

      so a true fans accepts mediocrity,and does not voice his outrage at the fact we are paying bob huggins 3 mil . per yr, to lose.

      yes, you need to drink that kool=aid,and shut up, cause a true fan wouldn't speak out against adversity,,, tell that to MLK

      • Teddy

        MLK? That is the Lincoln car I drive

  • jay ziehm

    record 9-3 in Texas big deal all the wins are like beating University high or Morgantown high then dancing on the floor like they won a national championship. I believe one player suggested we live and die by the 3. does this mean their are not talented enough to get the ball inside. to Ron "from Morgantown" you've been reading to many comic books. Basketball and Football in the big 12 is about as smart as putting a fox in a hen house and think all its going to do is gather eggs. thanks Ollie.

    • Steve

      I love it how mad and jealous you get over WVU sports!

      You are the poster child for a jealous Marshall troll!

  • mad hatter

    this will be a total blow out,,, anything less , and we can call it a moral victory..
    i like more victories, that's about all we're gonna get there rest of the season..
    play hard guys, forget the bum is your coach, and play like there's no tomorrow.
    Huggie will get a chance to chase down his ole drinking buddies,, that's what this trip is all about , isn't it/

    • Teddy

      Moral victories are fine. These are fine scholar athletes who shine in the classrooms and on the court. I expect us to win the remainder of our games and then win the Little 12 championship. Elite 8 at least for our fine players and the great Huggy Bear!!


      mad need to back off, and have more confidence in our team. There are many who don't like Huggins and his sloppy, uncouth ways; but guy at least support the team, and give them a chance to win.

  • Ron "from Morgantown"

    Odd stat of the day - Wvu conference record since joining the B12. Against teams from the state of Texas - 9- 3 Against the rest of the conference - 0-12 . Fans forget we swept not only TCU and TT last year but also Texas . Wvu hasn't had a player record a triple double since Jerome Anderson did it in 1975 . My guess is that if its ever going to happen again Staten could be the player to do it . I noticed attendance in the B12 ( save the state of Kansas) is weak . In the state of Oklahoma I have to believe the NBA team is hurting the gate and popularity at both universities (stealing their thunder ) . As far as todays game is concerned , when its over WV will still be looking for its first conference win against a team outside of the state of Texas.

    • The Wisetalker

      But I thought the team was getting better and improving?

      • Ron "from Morgantown"

        Check in with me this time next year when the team is in the top 25 .

        • tw eagle

          HA HA HA HA HA . . . thanks , I really needed that . . . I'd like it to be true , bur even the fantasy world that I inhabit lets me drift that far out into the nether world .. . .

  • S VanPelt

    Let's go Mountaineers, let's go drink some beers!