#17 Oklahoma State without Cunningham and Likekele, upsets #6 West Virginia on the road, 85-80

Avery Anderson led Oklahoma State with 31 points

 March 06, 2021

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Sophomore Avery Anderson III scored a career-high 31 points to lead No. 17 Oklahoma State to an 85-80 victory over No. 6 West Virginia on Saturday in their Big 12 regular-season finale.

The Cowboys (18-7, 11-7 Big 12) made up for the loss of two starters by finding holes in the defense for easy layups, shooting 58% from the floor and outhustling West Virginia for rebounds.

Oklahoma State was without star freshman Cade Cunningham, who injured his left ankle late in a loss to No. 3 Baylor on Thursday. Isaac Likekele also sat out for the sixth time in seven games with a hand injury.

Freshman Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe added 18 points for Oklahoma State. Kalib Boone added 12 points while his twin brother, Keylan, scored 11.

Taz Sherman led West Virginia (18-8, 11-6 Big 12) with 20 points. Derek Culver added 14 points, Miles McBride scored 12 and Emmitt Matthews 11.

West Virginia had a chance to tie it near the end, but Keylan Boone stole McBride’s pass into the lane with 11 seconds left. Anderson then hit two free throws for the final margin.

The Mountaineers went 2-2 during a four-game homestand to finish the regular season. Saturday’s loss denied coach Bob Huggins the chance to get his 900th win before his own fans. It also handed No. 13 Kansas the second seed in the upcoming Big 12 tournament, behind league champion Baylor.

Oklahoma State trailed for most of the game until Moncrieffe scored 10 points over the first five minutes of the second half and Kalib Boone’s dunk put the Cowboys ahead 54-49.

But Moncrieffe fouled out with 5:25 left, followed a few minutes later by teammate Bernard Kouma, who had 10 rebounds.

West Virginia went 13 of 14 from the free-throw line over a five-minute stretch to take a 73-72 lead with 3:43 left. The Mountaineers never led again.

Anderson scoring 11 points over the final four minutes to seal the win.

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma State: Resting Cunningham for the conference and NCAA tournaments was a no-brainer for the Cowboys. The freshman offered his support during timeouts and exchanged greetings with players coming off the court. The Cowboys were perfectly fine without him.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers seemed to play flat-footed at times. They allowed 50 points in the paint and were outrebounded 38-29.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Oklahoma State should move up a few spots after a 2-1 week that also included a win over No. 16 Oklahoma. West Virginia could fall several spots after a 2-2 week, which also included a loss to No. 3 Baylor.

UP NEXT

Both teams have first-round byes in the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, and will play quarterfinal games on Thursday.

POSTGAME NOTES

  • The Cowboys finished the regular season with 11 Big 12 wins in 2020-21, which is just the second 10-plus victory season by OSU since 2005 and the most league wins by the Cowboys since 2013.
  • Avery Anderson III recorded his first career 30-point ballgame in a Cowboy uniform. The sophomore dropped 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the floor, topping his previous career high of 17 points in the win at Texas Tech.
  • Despite being picked No. 7 in the Big 12 preseason poll, the Cowboys need only a Texas loss at TCU to secure the No. 4 seed in the upcoming Big 12 Championship.
  • The Cowboys shot 58 percent from the floor, which was their second highest mark of the season behind the 59 percent clip shot in the win at Iowa State.
  • The Cowboys played today’s game without the services of Cade Cunningham and Isaac Likekele, who both missed the contest due to injury.
  • Oklahoma State picked up its eighth N.E.T. Quad 1 victory and its seventh win over a ranked opponent.
  • The victory improved Mike Boynton’s career record to 69-56 overall and gave the fourth-year head coach his 15th career top-25 win.
  • OSU split the season series with West Virginia and improved its record in WVU Coliseum to 6-3.
  • Bryce Williams dished out a career-high six assists in today’s game, tying his six-assist outing at TCU.
  • Keylan Boone was instrumental for OSU today, busting out for a career-high-tying 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point. That performance also tied for the most 3-pointers made in a game by the sophomore.
  • Bernard Kouma pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds and scored a career-high six points in Saturday’s game at West Virginia.
  • The Mountaineers turned 20 OSU turnovers into 22 points on Saturday, which kept them in the game despite OSU’s 57 percent shooting from the floor.

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