NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Umoja Gibson made eight 3-pointers and scored a season-high 29 points, and Oklahoma recovered after blowing an 18-point halftime lead to beat No. 9 West Virginia 75-71 on Saturday.
The Sooners (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) have won three straight and four of five against the Mountaineers (8-3, 1-2), including a season sweep in 2019-20. The Sooners also have won four of their last seven games against ranked opponents.
Taz Sherman and Jalen Bridges had 19 points each for West Virginia, and Miles McBride had 15. The Mountaineers’ previous losses this season came to No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 3 Kansas. The loss kept coach Bob Huggins from recording his 300th win as West Virginia’s coach.
With the score tied at 60, Austin Reaves knocked down a long 2-point jumper and then a 3-pointer with 3:40 left, giving Oklahoma the lead for good.
West Virginia kept the pressure on and twice pulled within three points in the final minute, but a basket by De’Vion Harmon (10 points) and two free throws by Austin Reaves (13 points) kept the Sooners on top.
West Virginia shot 23% (7 of 30) from the field in the first half, allowing Oklahoma to build a 38-20 halftime lead. The Mountaineers went more than 8 1/2 minutes without a basket during one stretch as Oklahoma’s advantage ballooned from 19-16 to 33-17.
It didn’t take long for West Virginia to catch up. The Mountaineers opened the second half on a 20-7 run and pulled within 45-40 on a steal and layup by McBride with 12:38 left. Consecutive 3-pointers by Sherman, Emmitt Matthews Jr. and Sherman tied the game at 49 with 10:10 left.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers lost two forwards this week in freshman Isaiah Cottrell (torn Achilles tendon vs. Northeastern on Tuesday) and sophomore Oscar Tshiebwe (left team for personal reasons on Friday). They’ll have to adapt to losing two big inside players, and Saturday’s game was their first opportunity to experiment with how that’s going to look. Bridges replaced Tshiebwe in the starting lineup.
Oklahoma: The Sooners are trying to survive a particularly rough stretch of their schedule that has them facing four straight top-15 opponents (Texas Tech, West Virginia, Baylor and Kansas). A win over a ranked foe always is a good tonic and should help in building a NCAA tournament resume.
West Virginia: Will stay in Oklahoma to visit Oklahoma State on Monday before returning home for a game next Saturday against Texas.
Oklahoma: Visit No. 2 Baylor on Wednesday and No. 3 Kansas on Saturday.
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