Texas overwhelmed by Mountaineers in Morgantown

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Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

Shaka Smart looked deeply perplexed.

The Texas head coach had just been called for a technical foul midway through the first half, which created some confusion from the Longhorn bench.

Smart was animated on the sideline and appeared to be yelling orders at his players as West Virginia brought the ball up the court before the officials tagged him with a technical.

All Smart could do was stand aside and watch as West Virginia junior guard Jevon Carter knocked down the ensuing free throws. Smart also had to watch his team let an early 10-point lead evaporate into a 77-62 loss to No. 12 West Virginia in Morgantown on Monday night.

Four Texas players finished in double figures. Freshman forward Jarrett Allen played 37 minutes and led the Longhorns with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Texas’ sizzling start in the first four-and-a-half minutes amounted to a 12-2 lead over West Virginia. Freshman forward James Banks’ length was on full display with two early blocked shots. Three-and-a-half minutes later, Texas still was in command with a 17-10 lead.

But as has been customary throughout this season for the Longhorns, the firm lead was short-lived.

Led by Carter and redshirt freshman forward Lamont West, West Virginia unleashed a frenzy on the Longhorns. The Mountaineers went on a 21-3 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes to take complete control of the game with a 31-20 lead. Carter and West accounted for all of West Virginia’s points over that stretch.

During the run, Smart drew the technical, which only added to the West Virginia momentum.

The Mountaineers then increased their lead to 41-28 with 3:09 left in the first half before Allen decided he had enough. He received a pass on the baseline and threw down a mammoth one-handed slam dunk over West Virginia freshman forward Sagaba Konate.

The Mountaineers went into halftime with a 46-32 lead. Carter and West combined for 33 of West Virginia’s first-half points. West knocked down five three-pointers.

West Virginia picked up its dominance right where it left it to begin the second half. The Mountaineers’ hot shooting showed little sign of letting up. A long three-pointer from West extended West Virginia’s lead to 64-47 with 12:05 remaining.

A few minutes later, a baseline fadeaway jumper from Carter had pushed the West Virginia lead to 69-49. After trading buckets, the Longhorns tried to make things interesting.

Texas went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 71-60. And with 4:47 to play, the Longhorns trailed 73-62. But it was the closest they would get to having any hope of a comeback. Some sloppy offensive possessions put a bow on Texas’ fourth-straight loss.

The Longhorns (10–18, 4–11 Big 12) return home Saturday to face No. 3 Kansas. The Jayhawks defeated Texas in Lawrence a month ago, 79-67.