Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia guard Eron Harris scored only five points—13 below his season average—and the Mountaineers fell 72-62 at No. 23 Oklahoma.


NORMAN, Okla. — It was Fan Appreciation Night at Lloyd Noble Center, which meant free admission for students in hopes of a somewhat spirited sendoff for No. 23 Oklahoma’s seniors. West Virginia would have appreciate a win in the worst way, seeing as how it still harbored dreams of a first-round bye at the Big 12 tournament and, maybe just maybe, an NCAA berth.

But those at-large dreams were officially buried by a 72-62 loss. West Virginia (16-14, 8-9) must win the conference tourney to go dancing, and it likely must win four games in four days to do it. Meanwhile, Oklahoma (22-8, 11-6) could be climbing toward a second-place finish in the league.

A recap of updates from throughout the game:

One statistical note: The four made free throws Wednesday night were the fewest for West Virginia in more than two years, dating back to a 55-51 home loss to Notre Dame on Feb. 8, 2012. (That night the Mountaineers went 1-of-3.)
Eron Harris fouled out after a 2-of-9 shooting night and only five points. The Sooners were committed to holding him down after his 28-point outburst in Morgantown, but remember that Oklahoma had to defend an active Terry Henderson in that first meeting. … Staten finishes with 24 points and Devin Williams has a 12-point, 13-rebound double-double. … Gary Browne was 5-of-7 for 12 points and grabbed five rebounds, a solid effort off the bench, but it wasn’t enough to make up for Harris, Remi Dibo and Nate Adrian shooting 3-of-17. … Cameron Clark had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Buddy Heild scored 13 and Je’lon Hornbeak chipped in 11.
OKLAHOMA 63, WEST VIRGINIA 52 (4:00 second half)
The Sooners seized control with a 23-7 run, and West Virginia looks disheveled on offense and slow-footed on the defensive end. In god news for the Mountaineers, Staten ended the free-throw drought with a pair at the 4-minute mark. WVU is now 2-of-8, while Oklahoma is 11-of-14.
OKLAHOMA 59, WEST VIRGINIA 50 (6:03 second half)
Staten goes to the line with 6:31 and shorts the front end of a one-and-one. (WVU now 0-of-6). On the other end, Hield hits another 3 as Harris goes underneath a screen. Hield has 12 of his 13 points in this half… Noreen commits his fifth foul, bumping Clark on a 16-foot jumper that went down as part of an and-one.
OKLAHOMA 53, WEST VIRGINIA 47 (7:52 second half)
For perhaps the first time all season, Juwan Staten looks completely gassed. He went end-to-end for a layup and his 22nd point, but he was dragging on the next offensive possession and essentially begging for Harris to come get the ball. When Harris did so, he traveled for the third time this half. … Coming out of the timeout, Staten is on the bench. Let’s see how WVU attacks without its point guard.
OKLAHOMA 50, WEST VIRGINIA 45 (9:09 second half)
The Sooners countered with a 10-2 run, including two 3-pointers by a wide-open Hield. The guard had missed his first seven shots of the night before those went down. … And speaking of missed shots, West Virginia is 0-of-5 from the free-throw line after Williams clanked an and-one opportunity.
WEST VIRGINIA 43, OKLAHOMA 40 (11:37 second half)
Harris stops and pops in transition for a 3 at the 12:58 mark—his first points of the night. Unbelievably, that gives West Virginia a 41-40 lead. A possession later Harris slips a nice pass inside to Noreen for a layup, and that makes nine unanswered for the Mountaineers. … WVU leads despite being 0-of-4 from the foul line tonight. But Oklahoma’s 6-of-23 shooting from 3-point range doesn’t figure to stay so cool.
OKLAHOMA 38, WEST VIRGINIA 34 (15:26 second half)
WVU attempted its first free throws of the game at 19:07 mark, though Devin Williams missed them both. The Sooners, who hadn’t scored since the 2:29 mark of the first half, get a 3 from Frank Booker to end the five-minute drought. … Harris is in the mother of all funks. He;s still scoreless and has committed two traveling violations since the break, He’s trying to get it going, but he’s playing too fast and out of control.
OKLAHOMA 33, WEST VIRGINIA 28 (halftime)
Staten produced an Odyssey Sims-style 16-point half, and he had to do so with WVU hurting offensively. While its point guard made 8-of-15 shots, the rest of West Virginia’s team went 5-of-20. If there’s a positive for Bob Huggins, it’s that his squad is in a two-possession game despite Harris going 0-for-3. … Both teams shot 37 percent in the half, while OU leads 23-18 in rebounds. … Clarke has 10 points, while Jordan Woodard and Je’lon Hornbeak scored seven each for the Sooners.
OKLAHOMA 33, WEST VIRGINIA 28 (halftime)
The Sooners went on a 13-2 run to lead 33-22 before Staten hit two jumpers and made a buzzer-beating layup off a slick inbounds play. During the closing stretch, Kevin Noreen and Browne also drew back-to-back charges against OU’s Tyler Neal. (The Sooners guard protested because those were not the kind of calls that have favored defensive players this year.)
OKLAHOMA 28, WEST VIRGINIA 22 (3:34 first half)
Clark buries a 3 and has 10 points as OU tries to separate. Staten has missed his last five shots and uncharacteristically committed two turnovers in the span of four possessions, though these were of the forced variety, with Buddy Hield knocking the ball away. WVU has yet to attempt a free throw, and probably deserved two as Staten was fouled going to the basket. (One official ruled it a shooting foul, but was overruled.)
OKLAHOMA 20, WEST VIRGINIA 20 (7:27 first half)
With Harris in foul trouble, Staten can’t do it all. Luckily for WVU, Connor and Gray Browne buried 3-pointers to knot up the game. … Oklahoma has attempted 10 3-point shots so far but is only making 33 percent overall.
OKLAHOMA 14, WEST VIRGINIA 12 (11:11 first half)
Juwan Staten is on fire (5-of-5 for 10 points), but Eron Harris is on the bench, having picked up his second foul at the 12:28 mark. Into the game came walk-on Chase Connor, the freshman who had zero points this season before draining three straight 3-pointers against TCU.
OKLAHOMA 10, WEST VIRGINIA 8 (15:03 first half)
Cameron Clark hit his first three shots, including a 3, and starting much faster than he did in Morgantwn. Nathan Adrian picked up two early fouls, while Oklahoma had no fouls until the 13:37 mark.
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    turned off game with 5+ min to go . . . when ball knocked away from Brown & awarded to okie , I'd just had enough . . .

    WVU played their best ( my estimation) D , for a whole game . . . okie had few , if any points from inside . . .

    Mountaineers rolling in I st half , get the lead , and then the helping whistles change the momentum and pace of the game . . .

    staten had his best game to date - if he can learn to roll the ball in from off the glass he'll easily add 8-10 points to his average scoring line . . .and if he 's dreaming of the pros , he'll have to learn quickly - they'll be bigger & faster at the next level . . .

  • Mike

    I'm a dreamer, but sure would have loved a season this year where Murray had bought in to Huggins' system, and Holton and Macon had been eligible.

    • Aaron

      In the grand scheme of things though, Murray getting kicked off this team led him to rehabilitation which is more important than basketball game.

      I agree though, with him in the right frame of mind, this team would have been a top 15 team.

      Such is life.

    • william

      Holton is not a player that I would ever want to see wear a WVU uniform!
      I would NOT pay a dime to watch this guy play.
      The more Huggins recruits, the more I DISLIKE WVU Basketball.
      What old will he be when he plays his first game with WVU? -- 28?
      Holton stay out of Morgantown and take your BAGGAGE with you!

  • Independent View

    Maybe Ollie should explore the possibilty with the NCAA of letting some of thre WVU Girls Basketball team transfer to the boys team?
    Couldn't hurt.

  • pghmountaineer

    Without Henderson it's too hard to make up the production and he makes Harris a better player.
    I guess we'll have to wait till next year.

    • randy

      with henderson they still lose he has been out sick he would have been cold shooting and had no energy

    • Aaron

      If not instead of if bit.

    • Aaron

      Henderson was at the game. Not sure if he dressed but he may be back Saturday. If bit, he should be back for the tournament.

    • Mike

      Henderson is having some bad luck. He was out a number of games last year due to injury, now his illness. Hope he can have a full season next year.

    • william

      Said the same thing last 3 years -
      "Sweatsuit" Huggins is the problem, WVU will never win with this terrible coach!

  • Aaron

    How do you lay down in the 2nd half like that. That was atrocious.

  • Leroy j Gibbs

    Wow when you don't have anything good to say it is best not to say anything....

    • Aaron

      If ignorance is bliss some of these guys are walking on sunshine.

  • william

    What coach dresses like a professional?
    WVU coach or OSU coach?

    • Oh Did Ya?

      Who played OSU? Also his name is Eron superfan.

  • william

    Get ready for "Sweatsuit" Huggins post game show -
    He will say -
    We can't______
    We don't______
    We can't______
    We don't______
    As long as this terrible coach is at WVU, then I hope they lose every game-
    I'm lovin' it
    I'm lovin' it
    and yes,

    • william

      Also he will throw his players under the bus.

  • Aaron

    For those complaining about WV crowds, man, look at the empty seats.

    • Allan Taylor

      And that crowd was slight despite student give-aways and a marketing push for senior night. TV pays big, but it's making it too convenient for fans to stay home and avoid the traveling hassle.

    • william

      That's easy -
      Who would want to go watch them play WVU?

  • pghmountaineer

    This is what happens when you don't have enough talent. These guys are trying
    their best but there isn't enough talent to take them to the next level. It is what it is.

    • Aaron

      I don't know if they're trying or not. Too many times, Kevin Noreen was one of the first guys down the court.

      Seriously, if Kevin Noreen is the first one down the court, are the other guys really trying.

      I shouldn't point that out though in this AAU mentality generation. To do so is throwing the kids under the bus.

  • william

    Where is Aaron Harris HEAD?
    Taking 30-35 feet 3 pointers
    Should just start putting them up from half court.

  • Aaron

    You can't get lazy on defense just because you're struggling on offense.

  • Aaron

    How in the world does WV not shot any free throws in a half?

  • Mike

    Harris is feast or famine. He says he's a 'scorer', not a 'shooter'. Scorers create their own shots. He's definitely not one of those. And only half the time is he a shooter. Hot and cold.

    • mineralcounty

      And he's by far the worst defender on our team. It's embarrassing to watch

  • william

    Aaron Harris can't dribble the basketball!
    The only thing is does well, is shoot from the outside -