By Ken Cross
West Virginia forward Lamont West broke out of his scoring slump by leading the West Virginia Mountaineers with 17 points as they survived a late Sooners rally to defeat Oklahoma, 75-73, in Norman on Monday evening.
West came through in a big way as he drained his first five shots, all from behind the three-point line in the first half. He had made only 11-of-33 field goals in his last seven games as coach Bob Huggins benched him three games ago after a 1-of-3 effort against Kentucky.
After Esa Ahmad missed the second of two free throws, Trae Young came out of a scrum and dribbled to the left side of the floor where he met two West Virginia defenders and he passed the ball to Rashard Odomes who missed a lay in as the ball went out of bounds with no time on the clock.
The Mountaineers led throughout the second half as they built a 60-49 lead on a dunk by Logan Routt with 11:36 remaining. Young then scored 12 of his game-high 32 points in a 16-6 run that moved the Sooners to within 66-65 with 4:01 to play.
Ahmad then came through in the clutch as he scored West Virginia’s next six points and then Sagaba Konate closed the 8-2 run with a layup and a 74-67 advantage with 2:21 to play.
The Mountaineers countered their hot shooting in the first half by missing their first 10 shots from the field to start the second half as they made only 9-of-34 and were 1-of-12 in the second half.
It was a much needed win for West Virginia who had earlier blown double-digit second half leads in losses to Texas Tech, Kansas, and Kentucky.
Ahmad and Konate had 14 each and Jevon Carter scored 10 points and dished eight assists. The win left West Virginia alone in third place with a 7-4 Big 12 ledger as Texas Tech and Kansas are tied for first with 7-3 marks.
Oklahoma lost back-to-back games in roughly a 48-hour period as the Sooners lost at Texas, 79-74, on Saturday. Oklahoma visits Iowa State on Saturday while West Virginia hosts Oklahoma State.