Sooners Fall to No. 13/14 West Virginia
|Points||Bolden - 17||Two Players - 11|
|Rebounds||Adrian - 7||Lattin - 14|
|Assists||Phillip - 3||Shepherd - 3|
|Steals||Two Players - 4||Woodard - 3|
|Blocks||Konate - 5||Two Players - 2|
NORMAN (AP) – James Bolden knows his opportunities to play for West Virginia often are limited, so he has to maximize the minutes he receives. His ability to do so helped the 13th-ranked Mountaineers immensely on Wednesday night.
The freshman guard scored a career-high 17 points in 10 minutes and West Virginia survived an off-shooting night to beat Oklahoma 61-50.
West Virginia (19-5, 7-4 Big 12) won for the first time ever at Oklahoma (8-15, 2-9) in five attempts and avenged an overtime defeat at the hands of the Sooners, who won 89-87 in Morgantown on Jan. 18.
The Mountaineers won despite shooting a season-low 37 percent from the field. West Virginia used its frenetic press to force 23 turnovers, 11 more than the Sooners committed in the previous meeting, and limited the Sooners to 33.3 percent shooting.
Bolden entered Wednesday having played only 107 minutes in 15 games. His previous career high had been nine points vs. VMI on Dec. 10, but against the Sooners he went 6 of 11 from the field and 3 of 6 from 3-point range. In the first half, he scored 15 of West Virginia's 27 points.
"I just get in and do what I do in the time I get," Bolden said. "When I'm called on, I've just got to be ready. I've got older guys in front of me . that are going to take the majority of the minutes. If I can get in, I'm going to try and contribute to the team."
Kameron McGusty scored 11 points for the Sooners, who were so frazzled on offense that they burned all four of their timeouts by the 8:10 mark of the second half. Oklahoma lost its sixth straight since its win at West Virginia and posted a season low for points.
"West Virginia's pressure bothered us a lot," Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. "We didn't handle it nearly as well as you have to to have a chance to beat a good ball club.
"I just didn't think we moved with the same conviction to be available. West Virginia is going to work hard. They usually do. They try to cut you with their pressure. It didn't kill us there but it did tonight. I thought they definitely won that battle."
Bolden kept West Virginia afloat in the first half and gave them a 27-25 halftime lead with a driving layup right before the buzzer.
"I think he is terrific," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said of Bolden. "He has been doing well in practice. You try to work those guys up."
Nathan Adrian took over in the second half for the Mountaineers, scoring eight of his 13 points. His putback with 7:12 left gave West Virginia its first double-digit lead of the game at 48-38 and Jevon Carter followed with a 3-pointer from the corner for the Mountaineers.
Seven straight points by the Sooners — four by Khadeem Lattin, who tied a career high with 14 rebounds — pulled them within 51-45 with 5:15 left, but they came no closer as West Virginia outscored them 10-5 in the final 5 minutes.
"That's what the Bob Huggins way is - we compete and play hard," Bolden said. "We've just got to play hard for 40 minutes. If we do that and still play bad, you can get a win."
Oklahoma jumped to an 11-2 lead in the first 4 minutes and led for all but a few seconds of the first half, despite going without a field goal for almost 8 minutes in one stretch.