West Virginia looks to remain undefeated at home in the series against No. 14 TCU in tonight’s 7 o’clock game at the Coliseum. The Mountaineers are 10-0 on their home court against the Horned Frogs, who didn’t play a true road game in non-conference play and are 1-1 in Big 12 road games. However, TCU was 4-0 in neutral-site games with wins over Cal, Iowa, SMU and Utah.
The Mountaineers (10-7) are 0-5 in Big 12 play for the second time in five seasons. A loss tonight puts them on the cusp of a third seven-game losing streak in the past 36 games. They would also have a loss in their most recent game against every conference team. The Horned Frogs (14-3) won 12 of their first 13 games for just the third time in program history and then went 2-0 to start Big 12 play before losing back-to-back games and then winning at home Saturday against Kansas State.
WVU coach Bob Huggins is 17-4 against TCU at WVU and 20-4 overall, but this losing streak to start conference play has dropped his record to 90-94 against Big 12 opponents with the Mountaineers and 100-100 overall after spending one season at Kansas State. TCU coach Jamie Dixon, who is in his seventh season at his alma mater, is 16-15 against the Mountaineers and 4-8 with the Horned Frogs.
— WVU will have its customary starting lineup. Your officials are Kipp Kissinger, Ron Groover and Patrick Adams.
— On the first possession, Tre Mitchell, who figures to play some center tonight, blocks a putback and then forces a tie-up that gives WVU possession. On offense, Mitchell travels. Give and take!
— Emanuel Miller opens the scoring with a jumper over Mitchell. Stevenson answers with a long jumper from the corner. It’s 2-2.
— Mike Miles, the Big 12’s preseason player of the year, turns it over with an offensive foul.
— WVU is 3-for-3 with three assists. No one has more than one basket or one assist.
— TCU turns it over with a second offensive foul as Eddie Lampkin sets an illegal screen up top.
— WVU is 4-for-4 as Stevenson hits a 3. Two baskets for him and two assists for Mitchell. WVU leads 9-4.
— We’re at the under-16 timeout. TCU is 2-for-7 from the floor with two turnovers on offensive fouls. WVU is 4-for-6 with four assists and is outrebounding TCU 6-2. WVU leads 9-5.
— Stevenson cuts to get open on the inbound and draws a foul on Damian Baugh. That’s two on him, and he’s a critical piece for them. But TCU gets about 40 percent of its minutes from its bench. Deep bench, but Baugh is an influencer. Stevenson makes both foul shots for an 11-4 lead.
— TCU leads the nation in fastbreak points with 22.0 per game. WVU has back-to-back fastbreak baskets. The second starts with a Stevenson steal. He passes to Emmitt Matthews. He passes it to Stevenson. He lobs it to Matthews for a dunk. TCU takes a timeout down 15-7 at the 13:08 mark.
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— Another offensive foul/turnover for TCU. It’s Miles again with another illegal screen. He sits with his second foul at the 12:45 mark. The starting backcourt is on the bench.
— TCU has missed 6 of 7 shots. WVU is on a 9-0 run as Bell scores on a putback. It’s 20-7 as TCU takes another timeout at the 11:35 mark. WVU hasn’t had a double-digit lead since the K-State game. The 17-3 lead was the largest in Big 12 play.
— TCU brings Baugh and Miles back into the game. Baugh immediately gets an assist to a cutting Miller. Dixon is barking at the officials, and Kissinger calls a technical from far away. Johnson makes two free throws for a 22-9 lead.
— It’s 24-9 as Bell scores for the third time inside. Largest lead in Big 12 play.
— Lampkin sits. Soulemayne Doumbia checks in. One of the top junior college recruits, he’s played one minute in the Big 12 this season. Mohamed Wague catches it on the block and scores.
— At the under-8 timeout, WVU leads 28-12. WVU is 11-for-19 and has a 7-0 edge in fastbreak points and a 12-2 edge in points off turnovers. TCU is 5-for-15 and has seven turnovers.
— Miles goes 1-for-2 at the line. That’s TCU’s third 1-for-2 so far. WVU misses and Miles drives the length of the court and scores. Wague is fouled and then goes 1-for-2. It’s 29-15.
— Lampkin gets what looks like a fatigue foul dealing with Bell in the post. That’s two on him as we hit the under-4 timeout with WVU ahead 31-17.
— Bell makes two free throws. He has eight points and seven rebounds. Big stretch here for TCU. If it’s under 10 at the half, that has to feel better.
— It’s 33-21 as Baugh scores on the inbound under the basket, but Johnson makes a jumper on the other end and Baugh responds with a turnover. Johnson is fouled and hits two free throws with 1:35 left in the half. It’s 37-21.
— Seth Wilson, sporting a headband, is in. He drives to the left side of the rim and scores with his right hand. Bell fouls Miller shooting a 3, though. Miller goes 1-for-3 with 54 seconds left in the half. TCU is 6-for-11 at the line.
— Stevenson turns it over. Three for him already tonight. Chuck O’Bannon bails out a possession headed nowhere just before the shot clock expires and Johnson misses a layup on the other end.
— Halftime: WVU 39, TCU 24. Losest scoring half of the season for TCU, which averages 36 points per first half in Big 12 play and 29 points per first half in non-conference play.
— Stevenson commits his fourth turnover and then doesn’t get back as Baugh dunks. Those are TCU’s first fastbreak points. It’s 39-26.
— Stevenson gets it back with a basket. Matthews gives up another backcut layup to Miles but makes a 3. TCU misses and then Matthews has a 3 in transition. He misses, and a sharp rebound heads to Lampkin. He starts the fastbreak and finishes with a layup. It’s 44-30.
— Stevenson fouls Lampkin, who scores and draws a foul. He’ll have a free throw waiting when we return from the under-16 timeout. WVU leads 44-32 and is 4-for-4. WVU is 2-for-6.
— Lampkin gets the three-point play. He was scoreless in the first half and has five points already this half, but he picks up his third trying to stop Matthews on a drive.
— TCU is down 11 with the ball and has trailed by double digits since the 12:00 mark of the first half. TCU misses a 3, Mitchell hits one and it’s 47-33.
— Miles gets free from Matthews and hits a jumper. Joe Toussaint misses a jumper. Bell grabs the rebound and has his putback blocked out to Matthews. He waits and finds Toussaint, who hits a 3. TCU calls a timeout trailing 52-35 with 13:26 to go. One timeout left for TCU.
— Toussaint misses a layup, but the shot comes off the glass fast and Bell catches it and dunks for a 54-37 lead.
— Lampkin’s fourth foul comes at the 11:24 mark. He sits. Miles, meanwhile, is in a mood. He’s carrying TCU and has 15 points, including eight this half and six of the last eight for TCU.
— Miller makes two free throws, and it’s 56-45. Wague misses two. WVU was 10-for-12 in the first half and 2-for-2 this half before that. Baugh gets fouled and makes two free throws. It’s under double digits for the first time since the 12:00 mark of the first half. WVU leads 56-47.
— Mitchell fouls O’Bannon shooting a 3. That’s four on him with 7:52 remaining. O’Bannon’s free throws will come when we return from the under-8 timeout. WVU leads 58-49. TCU started the half 4-for-5 and has made 4 of 5 shots since … but hasn’t made a shot in the last 2:32.
– O’Bannon goes 1-for-3. TCU is 16-for-23 tonight.
— Mitchell posts up, loses the ball out of bounds off his leg and insists he was fouled. Kissinger calls a technical. Mitchell has fouled out with 7:33 to go. Miles goes to the line and makes two foul shots. TCU has the ball down 58-52.
— Toussaint drives and leaves it on the baseline for Matthews and a dunk. Miles hits a 3 and is fouled by Toussaint. His free throw makes it 60-56 with 6:36 remaining. That’s TCU’s first 3 of the game.
— Lampkin fouls out. Johnson makes two free throws.
— Stevenson misses a 3 and TCU runs. JaKobe Coles beats Stevenson for a layup. It’s 62-60 and WVU calls a timeout with 5:04 remaining. TCU has made 11 of 13 shots this half and scored on 18 of 25 possessions.
— WVU gets the ball inside to Bell, who hits two free throws with 4:47 to go. In Big 12 losses, WVU was 17-for-34 in the final 5:00 of regulation and overtime.
— Two misses for TCU after two misses the entire half. Bell turns it over. TCU turns it over. Stevenson finds Bell on the baseline for a layup. Miles misses. Toussaint hits a layup. It’s 68-60.
— Baugh scores in transition and TCU calls a timeout with 2:53 to go. Bell is fouled and goes 1-for-2. He exits with 15 points and 12 rebounds. TCU misses a 3 as Miller called for the foul trying to draw the foul. WVU leads 71-62 with 1:33 to go.
— Johnson goes 2-for-2 at the line, but Baugh hits a 3. It’s 73-65 with 49.8 seconds to go.
— Final: WVU wins, 74-65.
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