University of Texas athletics

Javan Felix and Cameron Ridley helped Texas build a 30-point second-half lead on West Virginia before taking time to enjoy the benefits.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 92 points West Virginia scored on Kansas led to some deep-dive film study at Texas, where Javan Felix and his teammates took the warning seriously.

“We just didn’t want to let it happen to us,” Felix said after the Longhorns won 66-49 by smothering West Virginia into its lowest output of the season.

Rick Barnes challenged his team to gang defend Juwan Staten and pester West Virginia’s 3-point shooters, but the coach had no inkling Texas would execute so well. The Mountaineers couldn’t make a dent in UT’s zone—and for much of the night couldn’t make a shot. They sank only 6-of-33 attempts in the opening half (18 percent) and trailed by an embarrassing 35-14 margin heading into intermission.

“In the first half I thought we were defensively really, really good … as good as we’ve been in a while,” Barnes said.

“The key to Staten was the transition, getting back.  And we did—our big guys did a good job doing that.  … And we’ve done the best job we’ve done all year the last two games getting our hands up in the zone. By doing that we’ve extended, too, based on the scouting report, who we needed to get out there.”

The league’s leading scorer concurred. Staten finished the game 1-of-11 for four points, more than 15 off his average.

“That Texas team has a lot of length, and it’s very hard to play against that, especially when their bigs are out on the wings and moving and active,” Staten said. “It takes away a lot of passing lanes and makes it hard to even see, let alone break it down.”

The league’s third-leading score concurred. Eron Harris finished with three points.

“They knew where our shooters were,” he said. “There was no type of gaps. I couldn’t get open.”

West Virginia finished nearly 30 points shy of its 78.5 points-per-game average, and despite sinking 5-of-7 shots late against the Texas reserves, that only raised the Mountaineers to a season-low 30 percent.

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  • pghmountaineer

    Just finished watching Iowa State beat Kansas.
    Iowa State has one heck of a Coach.

  • Little Buddy

    Coverage of the Big 12 semis is being blacked out in my area. WTH, I'm half an hour out of Motown. I can catch an ACC game at almost anytime but the conference my teams in is a non factor in the East.

  • pghmountaineer

    That's all I'm going to say about that.

    Put your enthusiasm behind the Lady EERS. Now there's a coach who's eraning his paycheck and a team with heart and grit.
    They make WVU proud.

    And now for the next fiasco, football season!

  • DP

    Dave-I think you belong right with Big Larry, William, Jay Zoom (and Mad Hatter, whom you didn't list). Why get down on A.T.? Obviously, you're an idiot!!!

  • Dave

    Allan Taylor, Nice piece you wrote for Big Larry, William, Jay Zoom and the rest of the green fans. I guess you get the last laugh against WVU. What a bunch of puppets. Metro News. The voice of West Virginia. I guess it keeps food on the table, huh Allan?

    • Allan Taylor

      I'm eating win or lose, Dave, and not laughing at anything. Except your assertion that we're puppets.

  • Aaron

    This is why Huggins likes to recruit long, lean basketball players, preferably tough ones that can play defense.

    As to Harris, for all his attributes, mental toughness isn't a strong suit. Baylor demonstrated how to defend him and with the exception of the Kansas game, the constant harassment wore on him, leading to repetitive poor decisions that kills his team. Once that snowball started, there was no turning back as last nights game exemplified.

    There is no doubt that kid has the offensive capabilities to get paid to play this game. If he will listen to his coaches and put as much work into the rest of his game that's he's clearly put into becoming a great shooter, he has the potential to be a great player.

  • Baldeagle

    Seems we always have a hard time scoring against zone defenses, we were flat-out out coached and out played. Since the game was blocked out from our viewing and I'll be damned paying for it, so I can't make any critiques..not that that would matter anyway. My only comment is that I don't believe Huggs can make decisions on the fly. He seems hell bent on using man for man defense when maybe he should go to zone or switch off and on or try something instead of just keeping status quo. Very disappointed with the coaching!!!

  • jay zoom

    I think Huggins could of gathered up 5 volunteers in the crowd and scored more than 14 points in the first half. next year we might be lucky enough to get invited to the State High School tourney and be one and done again. This team is in a league way out of its class thanks to greedy Oliver Luck. Its no wonder the big 12 welcomed us with open arms - they knew they had a PATSY The old battle cry wait until next year will never be an Issue in Morgantown or West Virginia as long as were in the Big 12. If we get a home game in the NIT fans should put a bag over their head during the game. THANKS OLLIE

    • rock solid

      Hey Jay Zoom: You are one sorry excuse for a human being. I don't believe you could find your rear end if someone gave you a map. If you don't belong at the big boy table, go sit with the kids. WVa had one option to be a major player for years to come incollege sports, accept an invitation to join the Big 12 or disappear into mediocrity in the AAC or USA conferences. WVU will be competitive even though we have idiots like you who think winning in a lesser conference is better than suffering losses to the big boys. You must have been bullied as a child by the big boys and you would rather pick on girls since it is obvious you sure don't know how to man up, take your lumps and get up and fight. What a wussie!

  • rekterx

    Did anyone else notice that "team" passing, especially interior passing, improved when Staten went out of the game?

    • Aaron


  • rekterx

    Texas looked prepared for the game. WVU did not look prepared.

    Being outplayed and beaten is one thing. Looking unprepared from the beginning is another.

    The game was over before it began.