After Huggins’ scary moment, No. 12 WVU beats Texas
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Bob Huggins fell to his knees and clutched his chest during a scary moment just before halftime.
West Virginia players picked up their coach, got him to the bench and made his job easier by maintaining a comfortable lead the rest of the way Monday night.
Jevon Carter had 24 points and Lamont West had a career-high 23, helping the 12th-ranked Mountaineers roll to a 77-62 win over Texas following Huggins’ frightening fall.
Huggins went down on the court during a timeout just before the half, and his players quickly came to his aid. Huggins stood, briefly massaged his chest and returned to the sideline.
Huggins said his defibrillator went off, but he returned to coach in the second half and finished the game.
“It comes out of nowhere,” Huggins said. “Well, I guess I got a little lightheaded, which I do when I stand up too fast sometimes. A lot of that’s old age, and a lot of it is some of the medication I take.
“Then, I mean honestly, the defibrillator went off,” Huggins added. “But, that’s second time it’s been going off. It goes off and what it is, it just shocks your heart back into rhythm.”
The 63-year-old Huggins had a heart attack at the Pittsburgh airport in 2002 when he was the coach at Cincinnati. He was back in his office two weeks later.
Texas coach Shaka Smart later exchanged well wishes with Huggins.
Once it was apparent their coach was OK, the Mountaineers continued rolling over the Longhorns. West made 6 of 8 tries from 3-point range, helping WVU (22-6, 10-5 Big 12) shake off a slow start.
“When I’m on the court, I always feel like I’m going to hit a shot,” West said, “but today was just a different feeling.”
Carter also grabbed 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, and Elijah Macon had 10 points.
Texas started the game on a 12-2 run but trailed 46-32 at halftime. Jarrett Allen led the Longhorns (10-18, 4-11) with 17 points.
“We really wanted to come out and be the more aggressive team to start the game,” Smart said. “I thought our guys did a good job of that.”
Texas has lost four straight and five of six. The Longhorns have upcoming games against No. 3 Kansas and No. 9 Baylor, so a strong finish does not look likely.
West Virginia clinched a bye in the Big 12 Tournament with its fourth win in five games. WVU had two players score 20-plus points for the first time this season.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Texas has yet to win a road game this season. The Longhorns are on a 15-game losing streak away from home dating to the Big 12 Tournament last season. Texas has one remaining road game at Texas Tech, on March 1.
West Virginia’s Esa Ahmad sat out due to back spasms and is day-to-day. Ahmad averages 11.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Texas hosts No. 3 Kansas on Saturday.
West Virginia plays at TCU on Saturday.