With eye on Big 12 bye, No. 6 West Virginia takes on TCU

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No. 6 West Virginia will host TCU on Thursday in a Big 12 game after suffering its fourth loss of the season at home Tuesday when the Mountaineers took third-ranked Baylor to overtime.

West Virginia’s 94-89 loss to Baylor is its second overtime loss at home with the Mountaineers also losing to Oklahoma in double overtime. They also lost on a last-second shot to Texas and by two possessions against Florida.

West Virginia (17-7, 10-5 Big 12) has two regular-season games remaining at home against TCU and then on Saturday against 17th-ranked Oklahoma State.

Two wins can lock up second place in the Big 12 standings and give the Mountaineers a first-round bye in next week’s conference tournament in Kansas City.

“As I told (the team), this loss can’t turn into another one,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said of the setback to Baylor. “If we do what we’re supposed to do and win a day after tomorrow and we do what we’re supposed to do on Saturday then we finish second, which means we’re not playing early in the week. We get a little bit more rest and can clean some things up.”

Taz Sherman, who led West Virginia with 26 points, is the third-leading scorer on the team averaging 13.5 points per game.

Miles McBride leads the Mountaineers with 15.7 points a game. He scored 19 against Baylor.

Derek Culver averages a double-double this season — 14.7 points and 10.1 rebounds a game.

TCU’s loss at home to West Virginia 74-66 on Feb. 23 is part of a stretch in which the Horned Frogs (12-11, 5-9) have lost four their last five games.

They shot only 38.8 percent from the field in Tuesday’s 69-49 loss at Texas Tech.

Only one of the Horned Frogs finished in double-digit scoring, and that player — R.J. Nembhard — had 10 points. He achieved his 20th straight game in double-figure scoring.

Nembhard matched a career-high with nine assists in the loss to West Virginia last week. He is averaging 16.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

TCU shot 49 percent from the field in the loss to the Mountaineers and had 19 assists for its 24 field goals made.

Following the 20-point loss to Texas Tech on Tuesday, TCU coach Jamie Dixon said numerous times, “We’ve got to be better.”

TCU needed the win to catch the Red Raiders in the Big 12 standings and improve its chance at a postseason berth. Texas Tech was one spot ahead of TCU in the conference.

With a win, the Horned Frogs would be in a good position for at least the NIT with a win over a ranked team on the road. They will try again for that feat against West Virginia.

“I’ve got to get them more motivation, I guess, because that should’ve been enough,” Dixon said after the Texas Tech game. “(The Red Raiders) were a game ahead of us in the loss column.”

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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