No. 12 West Virginia crushes TCU

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  — TCU’s undefeated start to Big 12 play is no more while West Virginia continued to assert itself at the top of the conference.

Derek Culver scored 17 points, West Virginia’s bench provided a huge lift on the offensive end and the 12th-ranked Mountaineers stomped TCU 81-49 on Tuesday night.

The Mountaineers (14-2, 3-1 Big 12) are unbeaten in eight home games and have held 10 opponents this season to 60 points or less, including five straight.

TCU (12-4, 3-1) remains winless in Morgantown since joining the Big 12 in the 2012-13 season. The Horned Frogs missed a chance to take over sole possession of first place in the league and had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Miles McBride, Oscar Tshiebwe and Jermaine Haley added 11 points apiece for West Virginia.

RJ Nembhard led TCU with 14 points and Desmond Bane added 13.

West Virginia’s bench outscored TCU’s 39-6.

The Mountaineers’ backup guards broke open a close game midway through the first half and turned the momentum in their favor for good. Reserves Brandon Knapper and Chase Harler hit back-to-back 3-pointers not long after checking into the game to start a 14-0 run. Harler had seven points during the burst. Backup guard Sean McNeil’s 3-pointer just before halftime put the Mountaineers ahead 37-23.

TCU, the Big 12’s best 3-point shooting team with 9.8 made per game, went to its outside game to try to catch up. The Horned Frogs hit four 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the second half to cut the deficit to 44-36.

But TCU couldn’t stop the inside tandem of Tshiebwe and Culver, who made the paint their personal playground after halftime. Tshiebwe scored seven unanswered points and Culver followed with four straight of his own midway through the second half.

BIG PICTURE

TCU: The Horned Frogs had no answer to a rare offensive burst for West Virginia. TCU committed 20 turnovers and was outrebounded 38-24.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers have been getting attention for their defense of late, but they shot a season-high 57.7% from the floor. Culver went 6 of 7, McBride went 5 of 7, and Tshiebwe and Haley both went 4 of 6. It was the first time in a month that West Virginia surpassed 80 points.

UP NEXT

TCU plays at Oklahoma on Saturday.

West Virginia travels to Kansas State on Saturday.