Texas had hoped to climb back to relevancy in the Big 12 with a road win over West Virginia, but once again the Longhorns let an important conference game slip away.
The Longhorns (10-12, 2-7)fell 58-60 to the Mountaineers (11-11, 4-5) Monday evening and are currently next to last in the Big 12 standings.
Texas led by as many as seven points midway through the first half, but relinquished its lead and entered the second half down by seven points. Five minutes into the second half, the Mountaineers’ lead had swelled to 11 points, but the Longhorns were able to regain a two-point lead with eight minutes remaining.
Then things went cold for Texas. The Longhorns made just two field goals in the last eight minutes of play.
Aside from four free throws from Sheldon McClellan in the final 12 seconds, the Longhorns were dead in the water, lucky to even sniff a chance at winning on the road. Texas is now 0-5 on the road in conference play.
McClellan led the Longhorns in scoring with 14 points and rebounds with eight. Freshman Javan Felix followed suit with 12 points and seven assists of his own. Ioannis Papapetrou and Lewis scored 10 points apiece, but no other Longhorn was able to score more than four points.
Ultimately this game was won at the free throw line as the Mountaineers shot 20-of-29 from the line, with leading scorer Jabarie Hinds going 4-of-4. Senior forward Deniz Kilicli added 14 points, most of which came on strong moves from the low post.
The Mountaineers grabbed just six offensive rebounds, a far cry from the 15 they had in a 57-53 overtime win over the Longhorns on Jan. 9. Texas had made a point to win the rebounding battle this time around, but the Mountaineers instead connected on 46.2-percent of their shots from the field, effectively nullifying the slight advantage Texas held on the boards.