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Instacap: Shorthanded Cowboys Upset No. 6 Mountaineers 85-80

The Cade-less Cowboys ruined WVU’s Senior Day activities.



[Photo via Courtney Bay/Oklahoma State Athletics]

Avery Anderson scored a career-high 31 points and led No. 17 Oklahoma State to an upset win at No. 6 West Virginia.

OSU overcame the absence of its superstar, foul troubles and an abundance of turnovers to put an exclamation point on a fun 2020-21 regular season, beating West Virginia 85-80.

While the Big 12’s leading scorer Cade Cunningham watched from the bench, four different Cowboys scored in double digits.

The last time these two teams met, the Cowboys gave up a 19-point lead to lose. That time Cade and Isaac Likekele combined for 47 points, both sat in various spots of the sidelines in Morgantown.

Anderson’s 31 points led all scorers, but he was as efficient as he was explosive, shooting 11-of-14 from the field. He also made 8-of-10 free throws, including a pair of clutch coffin nails to seal the win with seven seconds left.

Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe fouled out with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting in 22 minutes. Bernard Kouma fouled out with six points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes (all career highs).

Kalib Boone scored 12 points on six shots, grabbed four rebounds, and recorded two blocks and a steal. Keylan scored 11 on seven shots, grabbed five boards and steal.

West Virginia’s Derek Culver had his way down low early, scoring seven-straight points in just four first-half minutes, bullying the likes of Kalib and Keylon Boone. But Culver picked up a quick second foul with 11:34 left in the first half, and Bob Huggins planted him on the pine.

With West Virginia’s best low-post player on the bench, Kalib Boone rattled off three-straight buckets, and the Cowboys’ offense started to show life. Culver finished with 14 points on 3-of-6 shooting, but he went to the free-throw line 12 times.

The Mountaineers got to the line at will, going 9-of-11 from the charity stripe in the first half. OSU was just 2-for-2 from the line at halftime, and those came in the first minute of the game. The free-throw disparity ended at 34-20 on the game even with the Mountaineers having to foul late to stop the clock down the stretch.

With both Cade and Likekele sidelined, Bryce Williams took on much of the PG load to mixed results. He finished 2-of-10 for four points and was 0-for-6 from 3-point range. He was 8-of-18 from deep over his previous three outings. Wiliams dished out six assists but committed eight turnovers.

The Cowboys were shooting lights out in the first half, but gifted the Mountaineers possessions, and points.

OSU shot 52 percent (15-of-29) in the opening period to the home team’s 38 percent (13-for-33). Howeva, the Pokes committed 11 turnovers that turned into nine WVU points before intermission, while the Mountaineers had just two for four OSU points. That five-point difference resulted in a five-point deficit for the Pokes at halftime.

OSU finished shooting 58 percent from the field and held WVU to 42 percent. Neither team was feeling it from long range. The Cowboys were 4-of-14 from 3, and the Mountaineers were 5-of-24.

The turn-tables were turned early in the second half with WVU committing six TOs to and scoring zero points for nearly three and half minutes. The Cowboys’ ensuing 9-0 run (Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe scored five of them) gave OSU a 52-48 lead seven minutes into the second.

But the Cowboys, already lacking depth, got into foul trouble early in the second half. Moncrieffe and Kouma fouled out, and Avery Anderson and Kalib Boone spent most crunch time nursing four fouls. But that didn’t keep both from making game-winning plays.

The Mountaineers were in the double bonus for the final four and a half minutes. It was from the line that WVU finally took back the lead with 3:43 left.

The Cowboys were able to hold onto their lead despite their numbers falling due to foul-outs. Kalib Boone made a pair of clutch free throws to push the lead to 80-76. But on the ensuing possession, Avery Anderson’s turnover under the WVU basket turned into a layup for the home team.

When Anderson fell to the floor just as the ball was being passed to him, he made the heads up play to call timeout and save the possession. That gave him the chance to do this.

The Mountaineers were able to score on a quick layup to cut the lead to two. But Anderson was fouled after another inbounds play, and he went split a pair of free throws to give OSU an 83-80 lead with 22 seconds left.

Kalib Boone dove on a tipped ball, and OSU called its last timeout with 10 seconds left and up three. Avery Anderson was fouled again on the inbounds play, but this time he was clutch, knocking down both free throws to ice the 85-80 win.

What it Means

West Virginia was playing for Bob Huggins’ 900th career win on Senior Day and with a chance to lock up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Big 12 Tournament.

The Cowboys finish the regular season 18-7 (11-7 in conference). It represents the best Big 12 finish for Oklahoma State in nine years. The Big 12 Tournament tips off on Wednesday in Kansas City, but the Pokes won’t play until Thursday.

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