Sun, 22 May 2022

Battling slumps, Oklahoma and West Virginia meet in Big 12 clash

Field Level Media
26 Jan 2022, 08:55 GMT+10

Bob Huggins and Porter Moser have both had plenty of success in their careers.

Huggins has more than 900 career wins and two Final Four appearances. Moser, 15 years Huggins' junior, led Loyola Chicago to a Final Four and a Sweet 16 appearance.

But entering Wednesday's matchup between Huggins' West Virginia squad and Moser's Oklahoma team in Morgantown, West Virginia, both are plenty frustrated with the directions of their teams.

Huggins' Mountaineers (13-5, 2-4 Big 12) have dropped three consecutive games and four of their last six, with those losses coming by an average of 16 points per game.

Moser's Sooners (12-7, 2-5) have lost four consecutive games and five of their last six.

Both are searching for answers.

"The leadership has got to start with me," Huggins said. "I've done it before, so I think I can do it again. ... We've had stretches where we competed, but not for an entire game."

The Mountaineers are coming off a 78-65 loss at Texas Tech on Saturday, a game in which West Virginia was outrebounded 39-29. West Virginia is being outrebounded by nearly two rebounds per game this season.

Gabe Osabuohien leads West Virginia on the boards this season with 5.8 per game. Taz Sherman powers the Mountaineers in scoring with 18.9 points per game.

The Sooners, meanwhile, have struggled with turnovers all season but especially recently, giving the ball up 20 or more times in two of their last three games. On the season, Oklahoma has a negative-0.2 turnover margin.

"There's definitely fight in this group," Moser said. "But there's also a big part of getting better and consistent. ... It starts with me. There's going to be no quit in this team. We'll fight. We're searching. We'll find it. We'll get better."

A big part of Oklahoma's struggles has been the drop-off of Tanner Groves. Groves averaged 14.3 points and was shooting 58.8 percent from the field -- and 40.5 percent from beyond the arc -- during the first 12 games. Over his last six, he's averaging 9.5 points on 47.9 percent shooting, and just 28.6 percent on 3-pointers. Groves still leads the Sooners in scoring with 12.7 points per game, while Umoja Gibson averages 12.4 points.

The Sooners have swept the Mountaineers each of the last two seasons.

--Field Level Media

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