Oklahoma spoils West Virginia's Big 12 debut 67-57
Hinds' 3-pointer increased West Virginia's lead to 55-51, but Oklahoma then outscored West Virginia 12-0 to lead 63-55 with 2:52 left as it closed on a 16-2 run.
After scoring 35 points in the first half, West Virginia ended up with just 22 in the second half. Meanwhile, Oklahoma, which trailed 35-29 at the half, put up 38 after intermission.
That was because the Sooners outshot West Virginia 45.2 percent (14 of 31) to 24.1 percent (7 of 29). The Sooners also won the second-half rebounding battle 23-18.
"A big key in the ball game was that in the first 10 minutes, we got second-chance opportunities and loose (balls) and in the middle portion of the game, they did that," Kruger said. "They got second shots and all the loose balls and then the last few minutes, it kind of swung back our way. I think a lot of times in conference games, it comes down to fifty-fifty balls, the second-shot opportunities and just getting that rebound when it is in your hands and valuing each possession."
"It was kind of hard to see what was going on being in the game, but I know they got a lot of second-chance opportunities that led to and-ones and put backs, that's what gave them the game," said Staten.
Oklahoma got a 3 from Buddy Hield at 2:06 which effectively ended the game at 63-57.
The Sooners outscored West Virginia 30-10 in the paint, 17-11 off turnovers, 15-8 on second-chance points and 15-4 from the bench.
Osby picked up seven second-half rebounds. Hield had seven boards for the game and finished with eight points and five assists. Pledger grabbed four boards and reserve Cameron Clark had six.
Kilicli led West Virginia rebounders with six, followed by Staten with five boards and seven assists. Reserves Gary Browne and Kevin Noreen added five rebounds apiece.
This was the second straight game West Virginia was outscored in the second half. Against Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 30, the Mountaineers won 74-67 even though the Colonels outscored them 45-39 in the second half.
"I think it's our concentration," Staten said. "We just have a problem concentrating over 40 minutes. We kind of play in spurts, and then go (through) droughts where we don't score, or droughts where we can't get a stop, so I think that's concentration."
"Today we got out-toughed," said WVU coach Bob Huggins. "The amazing thing to me is that they act sometimes like that is not the case. I don't know how a guy can continue to rebound the ball and not think that he is tougher than you are because that is what rebounding comes down to. We want to reach for it and they want to go fetch it."
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