Texas shocks No. 6 West Virginia

Akshay Mirchandani

Wednesday night started poorly for Texas in Morgantown, West Virginia.

The Longhorns had to receive a police escort and got to WVU Coliseum just 23 minutes before tipoff due to weather conditions, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The end result, though, is what Texas came for — a 56-49 road win over No. 6 West Virginia.

Neither team looked like it had much of a chance to warm up in the first half. The first 20 minutes were slow-paced, with neither team cracking 30 points by halftime. Texas, however, ended the first half shooting 42.1 percent from the field to take a 28-25 halftime lead.

West Virginia, meanwhile, made 9-of-32 shots in the first half but outrebounded Texas 29-16. The Longhorns could have built on their lead but missed 7-of-15 first-half free throws.

But the Longhorns looked all warmed up in the second half. Texas shot 40 percent from 3-point range for the game and improved its free-throw percentage to 60 percent by the final buzzer.

A one-handed, alley-oop dunk from senior center Prince Ibeh put the Longhorns up with 9:16 left to play.

But then, West Virginia woke up.

The Mountaineers ripped off a 7-0 run to tie the game at 42 with 6:13 left to play, but the Longhorns responded in a big way. A dunk from junior forward Shaquille Cleare and a 3-pointer from senior forward Connor Lammert put Texas up 47-42.

The Mountaineers still hung around, down just 47-45 with 2:45 left to play, but senior guard Javan Felix helped bring the Longhorns home. Felix scored Texas’ final nine points of the game and helped the Longhorns outscore West Virginia 9-4 in the last three minutes.

Felix’s biggest moment came with 1:28 left, when he hit a deep 3-pointer to put Texas up 54-47 — proving to be the final dagger. He was the only Texas player in double-figures with 17 points for the game, making up for junior guard Isaiah Taylor’s off night. The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week scored just two points and was 0-of-8 from the field. The Longhorns also struggled with foul trouble — Cleare, Lammert and Ibeh each finished with four fouls.

The Longhorns may have been outrebounded 49-33, but they held West Virginia to 31.1 percent shooting and 14.3 percent from 3-point range.

The Longhorns conclude their tough week with a another road game against another ranked Big 12 team. Texas travels to Lawrence to play No. 3 Kansas on Saturday at 1 p.m.