Miles’ FT gives No. 12 West Virginia a 61-60 win at TCU
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) West Virginia coach Bob Huggins had little to offer when asked about the questionable foul that sent Daxter Miles Jr. to the free throw line with 4.8 seconds left.
”I didn’t see it. There were people between me and there,” Huggins said after the 12th-ranked Mountaineers stayed in second place in the Big 12 Conference by pulling out a 61-60 victory at TCU on Saturday.
Miles made the first of two free throws after the foul called against freshman point guard Jaylen Fisher, who never left the ground and appeared to make only slight incidental contact with Miles.
”What did I feel? He made a play. I was there. The official made a call,” Fisher said. ”I felt my hands were straight up. But it went their way.”
Jevon Carter had 15 points and Nathan Adrian added 13 for the Mountaineers (23-6, 11-5), who started the day in a three-way tie with No. 9 Baylor and Iowa State. They are now tied only with the Cyclones, who beat Baylor at home later Saturday.
TCU (17-12, 6-10), which had tied the game on Alex Robinson’s free throw with 9.1 seconds left, had one more chance but Desmond Bane’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was short .
”It’ll be talked about a lot,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said of the last foul. ”You’ve got to go by what they call. I thought we did a good job defending. We didn’t’ get the break down the stretch. … We’ve got to start making breaks.”
Fisher had 18 points for the Horned Frogs, who lost their fifth straight game, the third in that stretch against a Top 25 team. Robinson and Vlad Brodziansky each had 11 points, while Kenrich Williams had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
After West Virginia led by as many as nine points before halftime, Bane hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first half to give TCU its first lead at 30-27. That also snapped only the second tie to that point.
There were 11 lead changes and six ties after halftime.
By pulling out the victory, the Mountaineers did more than stay in second place in the Big 12. They got dinner at a highly rated steakhouse in downtown Fort Worth.
”It they had lost, they would have been at Burger King,” Huggins said.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers are 11-0 all-time against TCU, all of those games since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 four years ago. … Huggins got his 814th career victory, one behind Rollie Massimino for eighth on the all-time list for Division I men’s coaches.
TCU: Before the current losing streak, the Frogs seemed like they had a pretty good chance of finishing Dixon’s first season with their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998. Now, maybe not so much. … The Frogs were without starting guard JD Miller, who was out with what Dixon said was a groin injury. Miller was 16-of-31 shooting on 3-pointers the previous seven games.
”We’ve lost to five good teams in a row, so the schedule’s had something to do with it. At the same time, we have to win a game like this, and we didn’t,” Dixon said. ”Playing close is not good enough. There are no rewards for that.”
Miles is one of West Virginia’s worst free-throw shooters. The junior guard entered the game as a 57-percent career shooter from the charity stripe, and 56 percent (25 of 45) this season. So what did Huggins think when Miles was going to the line with the game tied? ”I thought he could make one, I don’t know about two,” the coach said.
West Virginia: Travels about 90 miles south on I-35 to play Monday night at Baylor.
TCU: Home finale Wednesday night against Kansas State.
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