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“Press Virginia” Defense Too Much For Cowboys in Big 12 Opener

11th-ranked West Virginia’s pressure defense caused Oklahoma State a lot of problems as the Mountaineers beat OSU 92-75 in the Big 12 opener for both teams on Friday afternoon at Gallagher-Iba  Arena in Stillwater.

West Virginia forced 19 Cowboy turnovers, and shot 55 percent from the field, leading nearly the entire game and building their lead to as many as 22 points before winning by 17.

Oklahoma State led 2-0, but that was their only lead of the game, as the Mountaineers went on a 9-0 run late in the first half to take a 41-28 lead by halftime.

The Cowboys used an 8-0 bridging the two halves to cut the deficit to eight, but West Virginia responded with a 13-3 run to build the lead to 18.

Phil Forte led OSU with 18 points and hit four 3-pointers, but much of his output came late in the game when the outcome was no longer in doubt.

Leyton Hammonds had 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Jawun Evans added 15 points and 11 assists.

West Virginia had three players in double figure scoring as well, led by Daxter Miles’ 22 points.

The game was ragged, with a combined 49 fouls and 59 free throw attempts.

OSU head coach Brad Underwood was looking for his 100th career win as a head coach, and was hoping to beat one of his mentors, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins, who he coached under at Kansas State.

Underwood led Stephen F. Austin to an upset of West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament last year.

OSU drops to 10-3 on the season, while West Virginia improved to 12-1.

The Cowboys travel to Austin next to play Texas on Wednesday, January 4 at 7:00 pm.