MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — You can’t blame anyone who didn’t expect the Jordan McCabe Show to break out at WVU Coliseum on Tuesday night. Sure, the freshman point guard was coming off a career performance at Baylor, but that 14-point effort represented the only time in his college career that he has reached double figures.
Yet TCU coach Jamie Dixon was not entirely shocked by McCabe’s 25-point, 11-assist, six-steal, five-rebound performance at his team’s expense. That assessment wasn’t based on what has happened this season, however.
“We’d seen him make some shots,” Dixon said. “And I’ve seen him play in high school. So I knew he could do it.”
McCabe was a four-star point guard who averaged 26.7 points per game at his Wisconsin high school. He came into Tuesday’s game shooting 28.3 percent from 3-point range in college.
“We talked about taking away the 3s and keeping him in front,” Dixon said. “Certainly we didn’t do a very good job about it.”
What had happened was…
TCU had the ball in obvious position to take the final shot of the game on two different occasions — and didn’t end up shooting either time.
At the end of regulation, Dixon took a timeout with 11.5 seconds left to set up the final play. McCabe thwarted that plan, ripping the ball away from Frogs guard Desmond Bane near midcourt before narrowly missing on a desperation heave of his own.
“We obviously didn’t execute,” Dixon said. “That might be on me. We ran a little different play than what we’ve practiced. Of course, our personnel was different too, so I thought that was the simplest way to do it. I just thought we didn’t make the right read.”
The Frogs appeared to have the Mountaineers dead to rights at the end of the second overtime when Bane wrestled the ball from Derek Culver in the post as West Virginia fumbled away its own chance at the last shot with 5 seconds left.
Instead, a perfect entry pass was wasted when forward JD Miller improbably dribbled out of bounds near midcourt.
“We got it where we wanted to, given that we had five seconds in a similar situation earlier in the year,” Dixon said.
In the previous instance, Miller made his way up the court and drained a buzzer beater to beat Oklahoma State on Feb. 6.
Tuesday marked West Virginia’s first triple-overtime game since Feb. 12, 2010 at Pitt.
The opposing coach in that game?
Dixon didn’t have any recollection of that one in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s loss, so for anyone else who needs a refresher: the Panthers upset the then-No. 5 Mountaineers 98-95 at the Petersen Events Center despite De’Sean Butler’s 32 points.
With the win, West Virginia improved to 2-4 all-time in triple-overtime games.
The previous win game against someone who knows a thing or two about triples — Dell Curry.
WVU beat Curry and Virginia Tech 90-86 on Feb. 2, 1983 behind 38 points from Greg Jones. Curry would go on to a career as one of the NBA’s first three-point sharpshooters before fathering an even more proficient one in Steph Curry.
The first triple-OT game in West Virginia history was a 46-43 barnburner against Penn State on Feb. 15, 1939.
Meet your new Mountaineer
West Virginia introduced its new mascot during the final media timeout of regulation. Timmy Eads will be the 66th Mountaineer in school history, taking the rifle from Elkins native Trevor Kiess.