No. 5 Texas cruises past West Virginia, 94-60

Payne Williams, Sports Desk Editor

In No. 5 Texas’ return to the Moody Center on Saturday, the Longhorns completed the sweep against West Virginia with a dominant 94-60 win.

“I’ll take the win however I can get it, but it does feel good to make a statement,” senior forward Timmy Allen said.

In the first half, Allen became just the third Longhorn to reach 2,000 points in his career and led Texas with nine rebounds.

The Longhorns played confidently in one of their most complete halves of the season behind a swarming defensive presence and valuable minutes from their bench.

Despite seeing six minutes of action in the first half, graduate forward Brock Cunningham recorded four rebounds, including three on the offensive end. The forward also ripped a steal on defense, adding a tally to the Mountaineers’ 13 first half turnovers.

“I don’t think we were prepared for the physicality,” West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said. “I don’t think we saw that all year. That bothered us.”

In addition to Cunningham off the bench, graduate guard Sir’Jabari Rice was nearly perfect in his efficient 17 minutes. Rice led Texas with 24 points behind a four-for-five shooting performance from deep.

“Without a doubt (Rice) is the best sixth man in the best league in the country,” interim head coach Rodney Terry said. “And that gives him a chance to be the best sixth man in the country.”

West Virginia struggled to find an answer for Texas as the Longhorns continued to find scoring opportunities before halftime, and the Mountaineers couldn’t respond. They shot 35% from the field and committed 20 turnovers.

Terry’s squad scored 32 points off turnovers and mistakes by West Virginia. While the Longhorns had their hands on several turnovers, the Mountaineers simply threw the ball out of bounds on multiple possessions, leading to more possession time for Texas.

On top of their defensive prowess, the Longhorns shot a perfect 16-of-16 from the free-throw line in the first half, tying a school record for most made free throws without a miss in a single half. Texas finished 24-for-25 from the line.

Senior forward Christian Bishop and Rice put a stamp on Texas’ electric first half with consecutive dunks on its final two possessions to push its lead to 21 points at the break.

Texas has just three home games left on its regular season slate. The Longhorns travel to Lubbock on Monday to face Texas Tech for the second time this season.