West Virginia hands TCU first loss of season
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Gary Browne sparked No. 17 West Virginia with 16 points while leading scorer Juwan Staten watched from the bench with an illness as the Mountaineers opened Big 12 Conference-play with a 78-67 win over TCU on Saturday.
West Virginia’s all-around aggressiveness helped it shake off a pesky and previously-unbeaten Horned Frogs team. The Mountaineers had seven and-one tries in the game, including six in the second half, and they converted five of them. Defensively, they also pressed the Frogs into 18 turnovers in the game and finished with 12 steals.
Devin Williams scored 14 for West Virginia (13-1, 1-0 Big 12) and Jaysean Paige added 10 points as the Mountaineers won their sixth-straight game.
TCU’s longest winning streak since the 1997-98 season ended at 13 games. Kyan Anderson led the Frogs with 19 points, Trey Ziegler scored 17 and Brandon Parrish added 11 for TCU (13-1, 0-1). Not only were the Frogs going for their 14th-straight win but they were also trying for their first conference win since the 2012-2013 season.
Up 32-30, TCU scored the first five points of the second half, then West Virginia’s press really started troubling the Frogs. Williams score a three-point play for WVU, then Jonathan Holton stole the inbounds pass from TCU’s Chris Washburn and layed it in for another three-point play for West Virginia. Daxter Miles’ layup with 17:12 to play gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the game, 38-37.
West Virginia went on an 8-0 run in a 1:28 stretch starting at the 7:28 mark of the second half to take a 64-54 lead. In the run, Williams rebounded a Browne free throw miss and turned it into a 3-point play. The Frogs couldn’t get closer than five points the rest of the way.
TCU controlled the game from the get-go, but Nathan Adrian’s three-point play with 9:25 to play broke West Virginia’s nearly 4 1/2 minute field-goal drought and brought the Mountaineers to within 12-10.
A bench warning for West Virginia fired up the TCU crowd, and Anderson brought them to their feet with a sweet drive to the basket where he faked a pass then scored on a finger roll that prompted West Virginia coach Bob Huggins to take a 30-second timeout. Karviar Shepherd scored on a wide-open layup out of the timeout for a 17-10 TCU lead with 8:24 to go.
A three-point play for Shepherd gave TCU its largest lead of the game, 22-12. West Virginia ended the half on a 9-4 run, and Jevon Carter’s buzzer-beating long jumper cut TCU’s lead to 32-30 at halftime.