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February 4, 2013

WVU locks horns with Texas on Big Monday

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins understands how cliché it sounds, but one thing his team has learned to do over the course of this season is take one game at a time.

"Earlier in the year they were talking about playing somebody else instead of who we were playing," Huggins said.

The Mountaineers (10-11, 3-5) aren't doing too much differently than the first time they played Texas (10-11, 2-6), a 57-53 come from behind victory for West Virginia in Austin, but it's an opportunity for both teams to continue the positive momentum after big victories over the weekend.

The Mountaineers defeated Texas Tech 77-61 in Lubbock, while Texas scored its second conference victory by defeating TCU handily. The 9 p.m. Big Monday matchup will be the second consecutive for West Virginia.

In the first meeting between the two programs, both teams struggled to shoot the ball but Texas held a double-digit lead late in the game before a rally by the Mountaineers forced overtime. In overtime, West Virginia would outscore the Longhorns 7-3 and score a victory on the road behind 12 points by Aaric Murray and 11 from Jabarie Hinds.

Texas is led in scoring by sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan, who scored nine points in the first meeting. He has scored in double figures every game since then, a span of fourteen contests.

The Mountaineers have gotten a recent spark from the play of true freshman Eron Harris including 18-points against the Red Raiders and some timely baskets. Harris only scored three points in the first meeting with Texas on 1-6 shooting from the field.

The biggest thing in that development has been the mere fact the freshman now knows what he's doing and continues to listen to improve, Huggins said.

"He really wants to be a good player, he's attentive," he said.

Senior transfer Matt Humphrey continues to be monitored with inflammation and swelling in his shoulder, and it's unclear if he will be available tonight, Huggins said.

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