MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — There was snow on the ground and butts in the seats at the sold-out WVU Coliseum, where TCU seemingly had the game won on a couple of occasions. Kudos to the Mountaineers marketing gurus for bundling four-packs of tickets, hot dogs and soft drinks to create the season’s first capacity crowd, and kudos to the WVU players for pulling out an 86-85 overtime thriller.
From our customary bird’s-eye view from 30 rows up, here’s a recap of the in-game updates as West Virginia (16-3, 4-2) grabbed its most exciting win in years:
FINAL STATS: Juwan Staten finished with 18 points and 12 assists, overcoming a crucial series of missed free throws down the stretch. Devin Williams scored 14 of his 18 after halftime, and also grabbed 12 rebounds. Jonathan Holton had 15 points and seven rebounds before fouling out in OT. Miles finished with 10 points, eight of them in crunch time. … Kyan Anderson scored 22 for TCU, which had six players in double figures and outrebounded WVU 45-35.
West Virginia wins 86-85 (final)
If you thought the end of regulation was exciting, well, overtime topped it. Try three lead changes in the final seven seconds! … To recount: A 3 by Miles makes it 84-83 West Virginia, and then Ziegler rushes downcourt for the go-ahead jumper with 1.3 seconds. And finally, with WVU out of timeouts, Miles flung a courtlong pass to fellow freshman Jevon Carter who took one dribble and was fouled while missing a layup. (Replays showed Anderson tapped Carter on the head, but Trent Johnson was beside himself. Even more so after Carter made the winning free throws.)
Game tied at 72-all (end of regulation)
After Trey Ziegler’s step-back jumper put TCU up 72-70 with 6.4 seconds left, West Virginia extended the game when Daxter Miles drove the court and rolled in a runner with 1.1 seconds left. Incredible finish, that, well, wasn’t a finish because we’re headed to OT.
West Virginia leads 58-51 (7:57 second half)
Now it’s TCU feeling the pangs of foul trouble. Shepherd has four and so does Amric Fields after picking up two in the span of 30 seconds. … Huggins went small and Chase Connor knocked down a 3. … TCU is shooting only 26 percent this half, including 0-of-2 by Kyan Anderson.
West Virginia leads 53-46 (11:52 second half)
Daxter Miles just picked up his fourth foul, which wouldn’t normally be that much of a concern, except for the fact that WVU appears to be short a couple of guards today. Tarik Phillip and Jaysean Paige, who combine to average 27 minutes, have not played. Still no word as to why. Forward Brandon Watkins just checked in for the first time, so he’s apparently good to go.
West Virginia leads 44-39 (15:51 second half)
It has been a strong second-half start for Devin Williams, who’s 3-of-3 with three rebounds since emerging from the locker room. … Karviar Shepherd picked up his third foul, knocking down Carter on a rebound, but WVU is being out-rebounded 25-19.
West Virginia leads 36-35 (halftime)
Staten’s 11 points lead the Mountaineers, who are shooting 43 percent. Holton has nine and, more importantly, only one foul. Browne, Nathan Adrian and the Williamses have two fouls each for WVU, which forced 11 turnovers in the half. It should have been 12, but a ball TCU lost out of bounds in the back court was ruled off of Holton (replays showed the WVU defender never came within a foot of the ball). TCU converted the ensuing possession and started its end-of-half run.
West Virginia leads 36-35 (halftime)
The Mountaineers led 34-25 after Staten fed Williams for a dunk, but the Frogs closed the final 2:-09 with a 10-2 run, including two huge plays by Anderson. First, he beat the shot clock with a 38-foot desperation 3, and then he ended the half by driving the length of the court for a layup and foul on Jevon Carter. Anderson has 16 points at the break.
West Virginia leads 28-25 (3:53 first half)
Holton has nine points and Staten seven, but two members of the West Virginia rotation have yet to appear: guards Jaysean Paige and Tarik Phillip. Both are dressed. There are no reports on whether there’s some disciplinary action at play. … Chris Washburn has six boards for TCU, several of those against Devin Williams, who certainly has enjoyed better halves. … Wih Gary Browne in foul trouble, Staten has yet to the leave the court.
West Virginia leads 14-14 (10:06 first half)
TCU is being gritty—no surprise, considering the Frogs had a 10-point second-half lead before WVU rallied in Fort Worth. But Trent Johnson can’t he happy with the seven early turnovers. Three of those came courtesy of the point guard Anderson. … Meanwhile, breaking news on the WVU front: Billydee Williams is ON THE BOARD! His jumper at the 14:01 mark represented his first points of the season. An eye injury and struggles to adapt had limited him to four appearances entering today.
West Virginia leads 7-4 (15:00 first half)
Two encouraging signs for the Mountaineers: Staten hit his first shot and Holton has three points and three rebounds out of the gate. Staten has been in a 2-of-16 shooting funk the past two games.
Jonathan Holton, after fouling out in eight minutes at Texas, ranks second in the Big 12 in fouls per game (3.2). What is Bob Huggins’ solution? “It’s either don’t foul or don’t get caught.” But seriously, Coach. “He’s got to hit reaching. He’s reaching too much.”