STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Teddy Allen scored 15 points, leading six West Virginia players in double figures Friday night as the seventh-ranked Mountaineers rallied to an 85-79 victory over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
West Virginia (12-1, 1-0 Big 12), trailed by seven early in the second half, but rode Allen, who scored 13 of his team-high points over the final 20 minutes. The Mountaineers, who won their 12th straight, got 13 points from Sagaba Konate, 12 each from Javon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr., 11 from Lamont West and 10 from James Bolden in a balanced scoring night.
The Cowboys (10-3, 0-1), the nation’s No. 2 free throw shooting team entering the game, went just 11 of 19 from the line in the second half.
Jeffrey Carroll and Tavarius Shine scored 17 points each to lead the Cowboys.
Both teams claim defensive identities and it showed, as each reached a season-high for turnovers. West Virginia forced 21 turnovers and Oklahoma State 18, and the teams combined for 22 steals.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers appeared in trouble, trailing by nine in the first half and seven after intermission, but grinded their way to the win in typical fashion – with their attacking defense. They won a road Big 12 opener for the fifth time in six years.
Oklahoma State: Picked for last in the Big 12 preseason poll, the Cowboys have played well in Mike Boynton’s first season as coach. Each of their three losses have come against top-10 teams: No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 7 West Virginia and No. 8 Wichita State. Pushing the Mountaineers to the end should give them confidence going forward into conference play.
West Virginia remains on the road and won’t even return to Morgantown, instead heading to Manhattan, Kansas, for a New Year’s Day game against Kansas State. The Mountaineers annually open the Big 12 schedule with back-to-back road games, designed to kick out two trips before school resumes from holiday break.
Oklahoma State stays in state, but heads on the road nonetheless, visiting No. 12 Oklahoma on Wednesday.