Mountaineers keep NCAA tournament bid in sight with OK State win
MORGANTOWN,WV—The West Virginia Men’s basketball team (16-12) edged closer to an NCAA Tournament bid with a solid 85-67 win vs. Oklahoma State (16-12) Monday night.
WVU has at least a 70 percent chance to make the tourney by virtue of the win and for having the strength of schedule on its side. The Mountaineer victory avoided a series sweep by the Cowboys who knocked off the Mountaineers in Stillwater back on January 2, 67-60.
Erik Stevenson scored 23 points and Tre Mitchell added a season high 22. Stevenson made 5 of 6 shots from 3 point range and grabbed five rebounds to stop the three game losing streak.Mitchell sank 8 of 14 shots and was 6 of 7 from the free throw line. Kedrian Johnson added 12 points and three steals.
The Mountaineers took a healthy 40-21 lead at the half. WVU had a 16-0 run and led 32-14 with 4:02 remaining in the half. WVU was leading 58-41 with 11:56 remaining when Mitchell and Kalib Boone got into a brief battle for a loose ball. Mitchell got the ball first then Boone jumped on top of him. At that point Mitchell took offense with both picking up fouls and technicals after a long video review. Boone fouled out. He was the Cowboy’s leading scorer.
Nearly 12,000 fans lifted the Mountaineers to victory. WVU turned over the ball 9 times and Oklahoma turned it over double that with 18.
The Mountaineers now go on the road Saturday February 25 to face no. 3 Kansas.