Texas Takes Down WVU, 75-53

Longhorns Cash In On 9 3-Pointers

Texas guard Kerwin Roach II (12) tries to pass after falling as West Virginia forwards Wesley Harris and Esa Ahmad try to grab the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Craig Hudson)

MORGANTOWN — Texas proved Saturday night that they may be heating up at the right time.

Courtney Ramey tied a career-high with 19 points as the Longhorns beat West Virginia 75-53.

Texas (14-10, 6-5 Big 12) dominated just about every facet of the game to pick up its third win in the last four games. The Longhorns made nine 3-pointers in the rout and outrebounded the Mountaineers 42-34.

“I thought our guys did a good job executing what we were trying to do,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “We missed a lot of easy ones in the first half, but the six 3s in the first half along with pretty good defense allowed us to build a lead.”

Kerwin Roach II added 14 points for the Longhorns. Dylan Osetkowski nabbed 10 rebounds.

Esa Ahmad led West Virginia (10-14, 2-9) with 14 points. Derek Culver chipped in with seven points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

After both teams opened the game with poor shooting, Texas found a way to heat up first as Roach nailed a couple of 3-pointers to take an eight-point lead five minutes into the game. West Virginia pulled within one with a little over 10 minutes left in the half. Ramey hit three 3-pointers as the half drew to a close and the Longhorns went into the locker room with a 34-28 lead.

“We looked at each other in the eyes and said ‘we’re a family’,” Ramey said. “We wanted to provide our own energy and just hit them first.”

Texas would open up the second half on a 17-7 scoring run. WVU would not recover.

“The reality is, they’re more talented than we are,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said. “We have to do things right, and we didn’t do things right.”

BIG PICTURE

Texas: The Longhorns may be heating up at the right time, picking up a win over Kansas on Jan. 29 and giving Iowa State all they could handle on Feb. 9. With Kansas State and Iowa State at home as well as Big 12 also-rans Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU left on the schedule, the Longhorns might make a run for the NCAA Tournament bubble.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers’ poor shooting percentage has plagued them over the last two weeks. Saturday’s loss marked the seventh double-digit loss of the season and their first double-digit loss at home since Feb. 20, 2016 (a 76-62 loss to Buddy Hield-led Oklahoma).

BUBBLE TROUBLE

The Longhorns may have a case for the NCAA Tournament with Kansas State at home followed with a trio of very winnable games against Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Baylor before hosting Iowa State on March 2.

“I think we’re playing well,” Smart said. “We’ve played better. It starts in practice. Our guys have really done a great job in approaching practice.”

ROWDY FANS

The West Virginia student section took the ‘Horns Down’ theme going throughout Saturday’s game. Multiple fans combined two foam fingers to emulate the ‘Hook ’em Horns’ gesture and pointed them down while the Texas starters were being announced.

“I think there’s great fans (at West Virginia),” Smart said. “I think they really understand what it means to be connected around one identity, so part of that is getting after the other team.”

Saturday’s game marked only the second time a Longhorn team came to Morgantown since the WVU football team beat Texas in Austin, 42-41 on Nov. 3, when multiple Mountaineer players taunted fans with the ‘Horns Down’ hand gesture.

HUGGINS AT A LOSS

Huggins seemed to be at a loss following West Virginia’s seventh double-digit defeat of the season.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Huggins said on WVU’s postgame radio show. “I am embarrassed, totally embarrassed. I don’t know what to say and I don’t know what to do.”

With 14 losses, this is the most a Huggins coached Mountaineer team has ever had through Feb. 9.

UP NEXT

Texas returns to Austin to host top Big 12 team Kansas State on Tuesday.

West Virginia will have a week off before heading to No. 13 Kansas on Feb. 16.

NO. 2 DUKE 81, NO. 3 VIRGINIA

No. 2 Duke stuns No. 3 Virginia with early 3s, holds on

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — RJ Barrett scored 26 points, Zion Williamson had 18 and No. 2 Duke used an early barrage of 3-pointers to stun No. 3 Virginia and then held off the Cavaliers, 81-71, on Saturday night.

Barrett hit his first five tries from 3-point range for the Blue Devils (21-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). His fifth one gave them a 29-15 lead after less than 12 minutes of play. Cam Reddish took over after that, hitting 5 of his first 6, the last three early in the second half as the Blue Devils rebuilt their lead to 52-41. He finished with 17 points.

Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome each scored 16 to lead Virginia (20-2, 8-2), which had a 13-game home winning streak snapped. The Cavaliers lost to the Blue Devils at John Paul Jones Arena for the third consecutive time.

The game drew a sellout crowd, most hoping Virginia could avenge a 72-70 loss at Duke on Jan. 19, but it was the Blue Devils who put on a show in front of LeBron James and past stars from both schools.

NO. 1 TENNESSEE 73, FLORIDA 61

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grant Williams scored 16 points as Tennessee beat Florida 73-6 to complete a season sweep of the Gators and extend its school-record winning streak to 18 games.

Tennessee (22-1, 10-0 SEC) owns the longest active winning streak of any Division I team. This also marks the biggest winning streak of Rick Barnes’ 32-year head coaching career.

Florida (12-11, 4-6) has lost three straight and four of its last five.

Admiral Schofield scored 14 points, Jordan Bowden had 13 and Jordan Bone added 10 for Tennessee. Noah Locke scored 17, Jalen Hudson had 15 and KeVaughn Allen added 11 for Florida.

NO. 5 KENTUCKY 71, MISSISSIPPI STATE 67

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — PJ Washington scored 23 points, Keldon Johnson added 13 and Kentucky held on to beat Mississippi State.

Kentucky (20-3, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) has won 10 straight games since losing to Alabama in its conference opener on Jan. 5. The Wildcats had to work for this one after an 18-point lead dwindled to one possession with 1:18 left, but the Bulldogs weren’t able to score again.

Mississippi State (16-7, 4-6) led 17-15 midway through the first half, but Tyler Herro nailed a contested 3-pointer to give Kentucky the lead. The Wildcats never trailed again.

Lamar Peters led the Bulldogs with 16 points.

NO. 6 NEVADA 91, NEW MEXICO 62

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Trey Porter had 20 points and nine rebounds as Nevada avenged its only loss of the season by dominating New Mexico.

In a reversal of its 27-point defeat last month, Nevada (23-1, 10-1 Mountain West) jumped to a 25-4 lead and led 51-26 at halftime.

Caleb Martin scored 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, and Jordan Caroline had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Makuach Maluach led New Mexico (10-13, 4-7) with 19 points.

NO. 7 MICHIGAN 61, NO. 19 WISCONSIN 52

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Jon Teske had 17 points and 12 rebounds, holding his own inside against Ethan Happ, and Charles Matthews scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half to lift Michigan past Wisconsin.

The Big Ten-leading Wolverines (22-2, 11-2) avenged one of their only losses this season despite going 0 for 10 from 3-point range in the second half.

Happ had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Wisconsin, but the Badgers (17-7, 9-4) had their six-game winning streak snapped.

NO. 8 NORTH CAROLINA 88, MIAMI 85, OT

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Kenny Williams hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:08 left in overtime to help North Carolina hold off Miami.

Freshman Coby White matched his season high with 33 points for the Tar Heels (19-4, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who survived a wild finish filled with big shots by both teams.

Miami had a final chance to tie it after a timeout, but White poked the ball loose from Chris Lykes, and Williams dove on the floor to recover the ball.

Lykes had his own huge game for the Hurricanes (10-13, 2-9), scoring 19 of his 27 points with five 3-pointers after halftime.

NO. 9 MICHIGAN STATE 79, MINNESOTA 55

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Nick Ward had 22 points and Matt McQuaid scored a season-high 18, leading Michigan State past Minnesota.

The Spartans (19-5, 10-3 Big Ten) ended a three-game losing streak, their longest skid in two years.

Minnesota’s Gabe Kalscheur scored 17 points and Daniel Oturu had 12 points. The Golden Gophers (16-8, 6-7) have lost a season-high three games.

NO. 10 MARQUETTE 66, NO. 14 VILLANOVA 65

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Markus Howard scored 38 points and Marquette hung on at the buzzer, edging Villanova and handing the Wildcats their first Big East Conference loss.

Marquette (20-4, 9-2) led by 15 early in the second half before Villanova rallied. Jermaine Samuels missed an off-balance jumper as time ran out.

Booth had 19 points and Eric Paschall 17 for Villanova (19-5, 10-1), which had won 11 straight since a 74-71 loss to Kansas on Dec. 15.

CLEMSON 59, NO. 11 VIRGINIA TECH 51

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Shelton Mitchell scored 22 points with a career-best five 3-pointers and Clemson outlasted Virginia Tech for the Tigers’ fourth straight victory.

The Hokies (18-5, 7-4 ACC) made just one field goal in the final 8:33 in losing consecutive games for the first time this season.

The Tigers (15-8, 5-5) are finally looking like the team that surprised many when it reached the NCAA Tournament’s round of 16 last March.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. 17 points to lead Virginia Tech before fouling out in the final minutes.

NO. 13 KANSAS 84, OKLAHOMA STATE 72

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Dedric Lawson scored 25 points, Ochai Agbaji hit five 3s and had 23 points, and Kansas shrugged off a slow start to beat Oklahoma State.

Devon Dotson added 18 points while Mitch Lightfoot provided a big lift off the bench for the Jayhawks (18-6, 7-4 Big 12), who were playing their first game without starting guard Lagerald Vick. He left the team earlier in the week to deal with personal issues.

Cameron McGriff scored 22 points for Oklahoma State (9-14, 2-8), which played Kansas to a draw in the first half.

NO. 22 FLORIDA STATE 80, NO. 16 LOUISVILLE 75, OT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Mfiondu Kabengele scored 22 points and Florida State erased a 10-point second-half deficit to force overtime, then knocked off Louisville.

Terance Mann added 20 points for the Seminoles (18-5, 6-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who made 11 of 12 free throws in overtime to wrap up their fifth straight win.

Christen Cunningham scored 20 points, including 13 in the first half, for Louisville (17-7, 8-3).

TCU 92, NO. 17 IOWA STATE 83

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Kendric Davis scored a season-high 22 points, and TCU stunned Iowa State for its first road win over a Top 25 team in 21 years.

Kouat Noi, Desmond Bane and Alex Robinson each had 17 for the Horned Frogs (17-6, 5-5 Big 12). They used a staggering 27-4 first-half run to blow past the beleaguered Cyclones and greatly boost their NCAA Tournament chances.

Marial Shayok scored 24 points and Michael Jacobson had 16 to lead the Cyclones (18-6, 7-4), who saw their winning streak snapped at four games.

NO. 18 TEXAS TECH 66, OKLAHOMA 54

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Davide Moretti scored 14 points to help Texas Tech roll past Oklahoma.

Jarrett Culver had 13 points and Matt Mooney and Brandone Francis each added 11 for the Red Raiders (19-5, 7-4 Big 12), who stayed within striking range of conference leader Kansas State.

Rashard Odomes scored 14 points and Brady Manek had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma (15-9, 3-8), which lost its fourth straight.

NO. 21 LSU 83, AUBURN 78

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Tremont Waters had 19 points and 10 assists and LSU overcame a sluggish start to beat Auburn.

Skylar Mays had 20 points for LSU (19-4, 9-1 SEC), which bounced back from its lone conference loss with a pair of league victories heading into its toughest road test yet at fifth-ranked Kentucky.

Jared Harper scored 25 for Auburn (16-7, 5-5), which saw its three-game winning streak snapped.

NO. 23 BUFFALO 90, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 76

AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) — Jeremy Harris had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Buffalo rallied to beat Central Michigan.

CJ Massinburg scored 18 points and Dontay Caruthers added 16 as Buffalo (20-3, 8-2 Mid-American Conference) won its 22nd game in a row at Alumni Arena.

Shawn Roundtree Jr. scored 26 points to lead the Chippewas (16-7, 5-5). He made 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

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