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WVU Basketball: West Virginia Hopes To Bounce Back Against TCU

The No. 6 West Virginia men’s basketball team sat in the locker room, tired and defeated following Tuesday’s loss to No. 3 Baylor.

Despite the trio of Taz Sherman, Miles McBride and Sean McNeil combining for more than 60 points, the Mountaineers could not keep countering the high-powered Bears offense. Baylor took the lead, and the victory, at the conclusion of the overtime period, officially clinching the Big 12’s regular season championship.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins spoke to the team in the locker room following the game, emphasizing the importance of having a short memory.

“That’s what I told them, that’s what I talked about in the locker room. We can’t let one loss turn into three,” Huggins said.

“We can still finish second in the league, but we’ve got to take care of our business.

“We’ve got to concentrate on TCU, and then after that, we’ve got to concentrate on Oklahoma State, who is playing extremely, extremely well.”

WVU hosts TCU for a 7 p.m. Thursday tipoff to be broadcast on ESPN’s streaming platform, ESPN+.

The Mountaineers (17-7, 10-5 Big 12) are in the middle of an unprecedented four-game home stand, the result of rescheduling postponed games due to COVID-19-related issues across the conference.

The Baylor game was the second of four over a week for the Mountaineers, with the third game coming two days later.

If history means anything, West Virginia couldn’t have asked for a better game to follow one of the nation’s best.

For the second time this season, the Mountaineers will take on TCU, where West Virginia will look to sweep the regular season series against the Horned Frogs (12-11, 5-9 Big 12).

On Feb. 23, when the two teams last met, Sherman torched TCU offensively, scoring 23 points off of the bench and leading WVU to a 74-66 victory.

Now, coming off of a 26-point performance against Baylor, Sherman will try to sustain his offensive success against Big 12 schools.

TCU will counter with guard R.J. Nembhard, who ranks fourth in the conference in scoring with nearly 17 points per game. He scored 17 points against WVU earlier this season.

“He’s playing really well,” Huggins said of Nembhard, who is averaging similar stats to what he did last week.

“I think the thing that we’ve got to be prepared for is how hard he runs the floor. He really runs the floor which kind of stretches everything out, gives the other guys a little more space to penetrate (and) kick. They’re big penetrate-and-kick guys.”

Outside of Nembhard, center Kevin Samuel is among TCU’s top playmakers. He went for 10 points and 11 rebounds in the last matchup, and is averaging 8.1 and 9.1 points and rebounds per game, respectively.

Along with Mike Miles, a freshman guard who averages 13.8 points per game, the Horned Frogs have sat in conference purgatory this season, being a team not exactly stellar or terrible at much of anything.

The lone thing TCU is abysmal at is turnover margin, ranking last in the conference. West Virginia, who possesses the fifth-best team in steals in the Big 12, will look to take advantage.

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