MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Eron Harris scored a season-high 19 points to power West Virginia to a 71-50 victory over TCU Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum.
It was Harris’ third straight game scoring double figures and the seventh time the freshman has achieved that this season. His previous best was 17 points scored at Iowa State last Wednesday night and he is now averaging 15.3 points over his last three games.
“(Eron) works at it, he’s a guy who is in there early; I look out my window and he’s out there shooting the ball and we all sit around and talk about practice afterward and he’s in there,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “You kind of get out of this game what you put into it.”
The Mountaineers got 11 points from Deniz Kilicli and 10 from Jabarie Hinds to snap its season-long, three-game losing streak in improving to 9-9, 2-3. The Horned Frogs are now a game below .500 at 9-10 overall and are still winless in Big 12 play at 0-6.
“I thought we played defensively as well as we’ve played in the first half, and I thought we played the way we normally play in the second half,” said Huggins.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well from the floor or the foul line, the Mountaineers hitting 25-of-58 for 43.1 percent from the floor and just 16-of-31 from the line for 51.6 percent. TCU made 17-of-44 from the floor for 38.6 percent and 13-of-23 from the line for 56.5 percent.
“We get it at the rim and don’t finish,” said Huggins. “It’s not good. That part is not good. And we’re 16 of 31 from the foul line. It’s inexcusable.”
West Virginia built its lead to 15 with 23 seconds left in the first half and led by 21, 49-28, at the 12:59 mark in the second half before the Horned Frogs used a 12-4 run to reduce the Mountaineers lead to 11 with 8:05 remaining.
But that was the closest they could get.
West Virginia had a 42-30 advantage on the glass and forced TCU into committing 17 turnovers. Dominique Rutledge and Kilicli grabbed eight rebounds each.
"I want to give some credit to West Virginia," said TCU coach Trent Johnson. "Going in we knew that this was a basketball team that easily could be undefeated in league play or be 4-1. Their physicality in the front court and the half court, especially in the half court, putting pressure on the ball handlers, I thought was very good."
Huggins used yet another different lineup tonight with Kevin Noreen and Kilicli inside and Hinds, Harris and Gary Browne in the backcourt.
Kyan Anderson scored 19 to lead a young and depleted Horned Frogs team.
The Mountaineers resume Big 12 play this Saturday at Oklahoma State in a 1 p.m. game that will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
“Can we keep (Oklahoma State) from doing what they want to do?” asked Huggins. “We can. But can we do it for 40 minutes? That’s the question. That is what it’s going to take. We didn’t do it tonight.
“I’m fed up with guys not knowing what they’re supposed to do. I’m fed up with guys standing and staring at the ball and their guy relieving pressure,” Huggins continued. “You get four guys out there pressuring like crazy and doing what they’re supposed to do and one guy standing flat footed and his guy gets the ball and scores and all those other guys are looking around like, why are we doing this?
“It’s got to be a team thing. The pressure has got to come from all five guys and if it’s not and it’s the way it has been – it’s not any good.”
TCU will take another crack at getting win No. 1 in conference play this Saturday in Ft. Worth against Baylor.