West Virginia delivers another road dud in blowout loss at Oklahoma

West Virginia’s road performances are becoming as predictable as the plot of a “Fast and Furious” movie — and much like that series, there is no ending in sight.

The Mountaineers’ habit of getting outclassed away from home continued on Saturday afternoon at the Lloyd Noble Center, where Oklahoma gave its NCAA tournament resume a much-needed boost by blasting WVU, 69-59.

The game was well out of reach before West Virginia closed the game with a modest 18-10 run over the final six minutes to give a false appearance of closeness.

The 13th-ranked Mountaineers (18-5, 9-4) are now 1-13 on the road in the Big 12 over the past two seasons.

WVU coach Bob Huggins unloaded on his team in his postgame radio interview, refusing to draw on the fact he has the Big 12’s youngest roster as an excuse for the road issues.

“Have you heard about youthful exuberance?” Huggins asked. “Did you see any exuberance?”

“The guys that we’ve depended on all year are not the same dudes. Not the same people.”

Oklahoma senior small forward Kristian Doolittle played like a man among boys, leading the way with 27 points and 12 rebounds. He was 2-for-3 from three-point range and hit all seven of his free throws. Derek Culver was Doolitte’s primary defender.

The Sooners (15-8, 5-5) shot 45 percent from the field (22 of 49) and 46.7 percent (7 of 15) from three-point range.

Oklahoma Sooners forward Kristian Doolittle (21) blocks a shot by West Virginia Mountaineers guard Miles McBride (4) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center.

Meanwhile, the Mountaineers were the gang who couldn’t shoot straight. West Virginia was a season-low 31.6 percent from the field (24 of 76), lowlighted by a 2 of 10 effort from Culver.

Culver was not alone in shooting ineptitude. The Mountaineers were a mind-boggling 11 of 31 on shots charted as layups.

Jermaine Haley provided West Virginia’s most respectable performance, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists.

West Virginia’s five guards — Jordan McCabe, Miles McBride, Chase Harler, Taz Sherman and Brandon Knapper — were ineffective until the modest rally when the game was already decided. Those players combined for 20 points and four assists while also frequently struggling to defend their Oklahoma counterparts.

McCabe and Knapper each went scoreless in 12 minutes, and Knapper finished a team-worst minus-12 in his minutes.

Fellow guard Sean McNeil did not make the trip due to illness.

By the numbers

West Virginia attempted a season-low eight free throws, but that was in line with Oklahoma’s defensive habits. The Sooners have committed the fifth-fewest shooting fouls in the country this season.

Next up

A home date with No. 3 Kansas (20-3, 9-1) at WVU Coliseum on Wednesday night.





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