MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Saturday’s loss against Arkansas marked the fifth-straight loss for West Virginia (13-7, 2-5 Big 12).

It’s the longest losing streak for the program since the 2018-2019 season, when the Mountaineers suffered two different five-game losing streaks.

During this skid, West Virginia has gone from a team that was looking like a no-doubt NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament participant, to one that was on the bubble of ESPN’s tournament projections before it suffered the two most-recent losses.

With all that said, and another stretch of three consecutive games against ranked teams on the horizon, the Mountaineers refuse to lose hope.

“I’ll say our confidence is still very high. Through the roof,” said senior guard Kedrian Johnson following Saturday’s loss. “But five losses in a row, you know, that hurts if you love the game of basketball. Losing five games in a row, and that’s never happened to you before, that’ll have a big toll on you. But it’s just up to us to stay positive, keep moving forward, and learn from our mistakes.”

Johnson isn’t alone in believing this team can turn things around.

“I still got all the faith in the world that this team is going to get turned around,” said head coach Bob Huggins. “We do play in the hardest league in the country. But we’re going to come out of it. I believe that, I believe that with all my heart.”

Three of the losses in this stretch came against ranked teams. Three also came on the road.

West Virginia will play two of the next three games in Morgantown, but it’s first opportunity of ending the losing streak will come on the road against No. 4 Baylor (18-3, 6-2 Big 12) Monday.

“I’m looking forward to playing Baylor. I’m looking forward to playing Baylor in Waco,” said Huggins.

While Huggins has said recently that it’s on him to fix West Virginia’s deficiencies, Johnson put that responsibility on the shoulders of the players.

“None of it is on the coaches, because they’re preparing us for battle with scouting reports [and] practice,” Johnson said. “I mean, we’ve talked as a team. Guys have got in the gym. We’ve made adjustments. But, it’ll come around. I really believe that.”

For Johnson, he said his confidence was high entering Saturday’s game because of the losing streak. He wanted to win, to end the skid, and was instrumental in WVU’s second-half comeback attempt.

Johnson scored 16 of his 18 points after halftime to help the Mountaineers cut what was a 19-point deficit to just five points with 12:21 remaining.

It was his top individual performance in a WVU uniform, and an example of how players are hoping to step up.

“The first thing that everyone pointed at was, what can we do as individuals to help make things better. That’s really where we started,” Johnson said when asked about recent team meetings and discussions. “We wasn’t pointing any fingers. Everybody said what they could do to change, you know, what they bring to the table. And we just took each other’s word for that.”

Rematches against Baylor and No. 13 Texas Tech are coming up this week for West Virginia. The first meeting of the season with No. 23 Iowa State is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the WVU Coliseum.