MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Jevon Carter
matched his season-high with 24 points and Lamont West
came off the bench to score 23 to lead 12th
-ranked West Virginia to a 77-62 victory over Texas tonight at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers improved to 22-6 overall, 10-5 in the Big 12 and swept Texas in the season series for the first time since 2013, but that was secondary to what happened near the end of the first half when West Virginia coach Bob Huggins went to his knees and grabbed his chest following a timeout.
A hushed silence fell over the 10,460 inside the arena as it took a moment for Huggins to be helped to his feet. He said afterward that his heart defibrillator went off and it gave him a shock. After communicating with his personal doctor, who was at the game, he continued to coach without any issues.
Afterward, ESPN’s SportsCenter program carried Huggins’ postgame news conference live.
“I was a little light headed and when the defibrillator goes off it feels like a horse kicks you,” Huggins said on his postgame radio show. He said it happened to him once before, “And I didn’t like it either time.”
Huggins joked afterward that he was afraid he was going to be called for another technical foul, referencing the technical he received a few games ago when his knee gave out and he slipped and fell on the court.
After a slow start, Huggins' team used a 21-3 run to turn an early 12-2 deficit into a 16-point advantage with 1:43 remaining in the first half. West was the catalyst, draining five of his seven 3-point attempts to score 20 by halftime.
At tonight’s game was Lamont's mother, Tonya, a former star player at Purdue in the mid-1990s. His mother was also here for the Oklahoma State game back on February 4 when he scored a then-season-high 21 points.
“We ran a bunch of things for him,” Huggins said. “When he made his first couple it was against the zone and they just didn’t pay attention to him and then we tried to run some stuff to iso him on the side that Lamont was on and that worked. And then we ran some John Beilein ‘football’ for him and we ran some stuff we used to run for KJ (Kevin Jones) for him and he just kept making shots.”
In the second half, Jevon Carter
took over and scored 11 of his game-high 24, matching the season-high 24 he scored two nights prior against Texas Tech.
Carter has now scored 78 points in his last four games - three of those victories over Kansas State, Texas Tech and now Texas.
The junior guard also grabbed 10 rebounds, handed out four assists and made a steal in 38 minutes of work.
“He played terrific today,” said Huggins. “Ten rebounds … our bigs have got to do a better job of rebounding the ball. But I thought we did a better job rebounding the ball in the first half than we did in the second half.”
Junior forward Elijah Macon
, coming off a 17-point, 12-rebound performance against Texas Tech, continued his outstanding work tonight with 10 points and a pair of rebounds.
West Virginia's Jevon Carter
has scored 78 points in his last four games - three of those victories over Kansas State, Texas Tech and Texas. All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks photo
West Virginia’s bench outscored Texas’ 36-5.
Starting forward Esa Ahmad
watched tonight’s game in street clothes after suffering a strained back during Saturday’s double-overtime win over the Red Raiders.
West Virginia used a three-guard starting five tonight with junior Daxter Miles Jr.
taking Ahmad’s place in the lineup. Ahmad is listed as day-to-day.
The Longhorns, now 10-18, 4-11, got 17 points and seven rebounds from freshman Jarrett Allen, including a highlight reel dunk in the first half when he leapt high into the air and threw down a tomahawk slam overtop West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate
The dunk drew oohs and aahs from the crowd and was replayed several times on the television broadcast.
But the highlights have been few and far between for a Texas team that was predicted to finish third in this year’s Big 12 preseason poll.
The Longhorns are in the unusual position of battling Oklahoma to stay out of the basement in the league standings with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
West Virginia, meanwhile, is now tied with Iowa State for second in the conference standings behind league-leading Kansas. The Cyclones defeated Texas Tech in overtime tonight to jump a half-game ahead of 9-5 Baylor.
The Mountaineers have the rest of the week idle before facing another difficult Saturday-Monday turnaround in Texas, playing at TCU on Saturday afternoon and then traveling down to Waco to play the Bears on Big Monday.
WVU concludes the regular season on Friday, March 3 against Iowa State.