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March 13, 2014

Texas Eliminates WVU in Rout





Tonight in Kansas City at the Sprint, Texas (23-9, 12-7) defeated West Virginia (17-15, 9-10) 66-49 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

The blowout began just moments after the game tipped off.

Texas guard Javan Felix drove to the basket and converted an easy layup. Then Jonathan Holmes hit a three-pointer, a pair of free throws and a midrange jumper. Felix then hit another three giving Texas a 12-0 lead. WVU Head Coach Bob Huggins to call a timeout with 16:11 to play in the first half.

That timeout didn't slow down Texas and didn't stop the poor play of West Virginia.

Both Homles and Felix registered double-digit scoring before the end of the first half, while WVU couldn't find the bottom of the net offensively.

The Mountaineers shot an abysmal 18-percent from the field and missed all eight three-point attempts. Big 12 Conference scoring leader Juwan Staten was held to just 3 points during the first half. He was one of nine from the field during the period. Additionally, the team's second-leading scorer, Eron Harris was held scoreless by Texas.

Harris got in early foul trouble and spent most of the first half on the bench with two fouls. He eventually would foul out in the second half.

Texas Head Coach Rick Barnes and his team utilized a two-three zone defense to throw off a WVU offense, which had a 92-point outpouring in an upset win over Kansas this past weekend. The zone derailed Staten's ability to drive the lane and create offense.

With 1:43 to play in the first, Kevin Noreen converted an old fashion three-point play serving as the lone Mountaineer highlight of the half.

Heading into the locker room, WVU trailed Texas 35-14, marking the least amount of points WVU has scored in a half all season long. Its previous low was a 22-point first half against Missouri back in December.

From there the Longhorns went into cruise control. Texas would lead by as many as thirty points in the second half.

Holmes finished as the game-high scorer with 20 points while Felix added 16 points. Cameron Ridley had a game-high 8 rebounds as well for Texas.

West Virginia finished the game shooting just thirty-percent from the field and hit just six of twenty shots from beyond the arc. Brandon Watkins led WVU in scoring with 10 points.

To make matters worse for the Mountaineers, Staten rolled his ankle and hobbled into the locker room with just under twelve minutes to play in the game. With the outcome already decided, Staten did not return to action. He finished with a season-low 4 points.

Texas advances to take on Baylor in the semifinals of the tournament tomorrow night. West Virginia will fly back to Morgantown and await a possible NIT bid.

The loss to Texas essentially eliminates any shot WVU had of reaching the NCAA Tournament.


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