Paige, Williams lead West Virginia past Oklahoma St 70-56
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Coming off a game in which he scored 34 points, Jaysean Paige had a tough act to follow.
The senior guard delivered 17 points and Devin Williams had his 13th double-double of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 14 West Virginia to a 70-56 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday night.
It was the second straight win for West Virginia (22-7, 11-5 Big 12), moving coach Bob Huggins ahead of Lefty Driesell into sole possession of 10th place on the NCAA Division I wins list with 787.
''He wasn't as good as he's been, but he was pretty good,'' Huggins said of Paige, whose performance Monday in the Mountaineers' 97-87 win over No. 17 Iowa State represented the most points in school history by a non-starter. ''He figured out that he's got really good athleticism and he's got great strength and he can take a hit and still finish, which a lot of guys can't do, where he could attack the rim as well as shoot the jump shot.''
Williams' performance helped West Virginia continue its dominant play on the boards. The Mountaineers outrebounded Oklahoma State 42-25 and added 19 to their nation-leading total of offensive rebounds.
''Dev's been a key since he walked on campus,'' Huggins said. ''I think he's one of the premier rebounders in our league, and when you're that, you're one of the premier rebounders in the country.''
Joe Burton scored a career-high 16 points to lead injury-depleted Oklahoma State (12-17, 3-13), which has lost four straight and seven of eight.
The Cowboys held West Virginia to 36.5 percent shooting (19 for 52), but the Mountaineers were 27 of 37 from the free throw line.
''I thought Joe Burton did a good job,'' said Cowboys coach Travis Ford, whose team will be without dynamic freshman Jawun Evans and senior leader Phil Forte for the rest of the season due to injuries. ''I thought we did some really good things defensively, and the numbers say it, so I'm proud of that effort.''
After finishing the first half on a 10-1 run to take a 33-29 lead into the break, West Virginia continued to roll early in the second, outscoring Oklahoma State 11-2 over the first 5:08 to go up 44-31 after Paige's second straight layup.
The Cowboys went on a 9-2 run over the next 3:22 to pull back to 46-40 with 11:35 remaining, but that was as close as they got. The Mountaineers answered with an 11-2 run over the next 4-plus minutes and maintained at least a nine-point lead the rest of the way.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers entered the day leading the nation with an average of 34.1 points per game off the bench. They managed 35 in this one, led by Paige's 17. … West Virginia also leads the country in forcing turnovers, coming in with a 24.7 average. The Mountaineers induced 19 turnovers by the Cowboys, three fewer than their season high.
Oklahoma State: Without Evans and Forte, Oklahoma State received strong performances from some of its depth players. Besides Burton's career-high scoring night, Tavarius Shine, who was making his second career start, scored 12 points, just two off his career high, and Mitchell Solomon had eight points, also two shy of his personal best.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
''When you take your two best players off your team in this league, it's tough for anybody. It doesn't mean you fold your tent up, and I think you've seen that our team has a lot of fight to it. This league is just unforgiving. It's not excuses, it's reality. We're in the games at halftime, we've just got to figure out the second half, to finish a game out. We're in an uphill battle, but you're going to fight some uphill battles in life, period. I don't care if it's basketball, or life, or marriage or job, there's always going to be some battles. Our guys are fighting hard, we just haven't been able to finish it out.'' – Ford on his team's frustrating stretch recently.
Sitting courtside for the game was Oklahoma State coaching great Eddie Sutton, who had a 368-151 record (a .709 winning percentage) with 13 NCAA tournament appearances over 16 seasons (1990-2006) at OSU. Sutton, recently selected one of 14 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, was given a standing ovation when shown on the video board. . Also attending the game was Mike Yurcich, the Oklahoma State football team's offensive coordinator.
West Virginia hosts Texas Tech on Wednesday.
Oklahoma State visits No. 17 Iowa State on Monday.