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Feb 9, 2024 2:22 pm

West Virginia seeks season sweep of Texas

Dylan Disu

Texas looks to get back on the winning track and avoid a season sweep by dangerous West Virginia when the two teams square off Saturday afternoon in a Big 12 Conference clash in Austin, Texas.

The Longhorns and Mountaineers are in 12th and 13th place, respectively, in the 14-team league standings just past the midway point of the Big 12 campaign.

The Longhorns (15-8, 4-6 Big 12) remain at home after a 70-65 loss to No. 14 Iowa State on Tuesday. Dylan Disu hit for 28 points to lead all scorers, with Max Abmas adding 13, all in the second half, and Dillon Mitchell contributing 10 for Texas.

The Longhorns trailed by 17 points at halftime after a poor-shooting first half but rallied to pull make it a one-possession game on three occasions in the final minutes as Disu was at his best. But they could never get over the hump and dropped their third game in four outings, all against ranked teams.

“I talked to the team this week about trying to understand what it takes to play tournament basketball,” Texas coach Rodney Terry said. “Tournament basketball is, you can’t waste 20 minutes. We need to start learning to play like our season is ending right now with that kind of urgency.”

Saturday’s game is the first for Texas against a team not ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 since Jan. 20, a stretch of six consecutive outings.

The Mountaineers travel to Austin after a week off and following an 86-73 home loss to No. 22 BYU on Feb. 3. Kerr Kriisa led West Virginia with 23 points in the setback, its third in four games, while Jesse Edwards tallied 16 and RaeQuan Battle tacked on 14 points.

West Virginia allowed 19 second-chance points off nine offensive rebounds.

“When you combine second chance and fast-break scoring (eight points), that’s 27 points right there, and those are easy buckets that we cannot allow,” Mountaineers interim head coach Josh Eilert said. “When you are making defensive miscues and you can’t rebound out of it, that’s going to be a problem.”

West Virginia (8-14, 3-6) is one of just two squads in the conference without an overall winning record — but one of its wins was against Texas at home on Jan. 13.

–Field Level Media

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