Men's Basketball, Sports, WVU Sports

Marcus Carr leads No. 17 Texas past short-handed WVU 74-59

AUSTIN, Texas — Marcus Carr scored a season-best 20 points and No. 17 Texas defeated short-handed West Virginia 74-59 Saturday in the Big 12 opener, snapping the Mountaineers’ eight-game winning streak.

West Virginia (11-2) played without starting guard and leading scorer Taz Sherman (20.9 points per game) along with reserves Gabe Osabuohien and Kobe Johnson. All three are in COVID-19 protocols.

Texas (11-2) led by 28 with 13 minutes remaining, but West Virginia used improved shooting and dogged defense to make the game more competitive.

Courtney Ramey scored 15 points for Texas, and Andrew Jones added 14.

Jalen Bridges led West Virginia with 18 points, and Malik Curry scored 14.

Texas finished the first half with a 25-6 push, including 18-2 for a 39-20 lead. Ramey scored 13 in the half, hitting three 3-point shots. The Longhorns converted 50% of their field goal attempts, including 6 of 11 3-pointers in the period.

Texas limited West Virginia to 32% accuracy, forced 12 turnovers and held a 10-0 edge in points off turnovers. During the 18-2 run, Texas forced a 30-second shot clock violation and a 5-second violation on an inbounds pass.

West Virginia improved in the second half, shooting 52% to finish the game at 42.3. Texas shot just 34.5% in the second half and 42.4 overall.

Big picture

West Virginia: The Mountaineers could not overcome the loss of Sherman, who ranks second in the Big 12 and 13th nationally in scoring. He had 23 points against Connecticut and 21 against Marquette. Against Texas, they shot poorly and were suffocated into shot clock violations and errant passes. Coming in, West Virginia ranked sixth nationally in turnover margin — plus-6.7 — but ended the game with a 20-12 deficit.

Texas: This was the Longhorns’ best victory this season by far after losses at No. 4 Gonzaga and No. 15 Seton Hall. The Longhorns played the kind of defense, especially in the first half, that enables them to lead the nation in fewest points allowed (51.3) and to be ranked third in turnover margin (plus-7.5).

Up next

West Virginia: hosts Kansas State on Jan. 8. A game at TCU, scheduled for Monday, was postponed.

Texas: at Kansas State on Tuesday.