Season enters critical stage for Mountaineers after consecutive losses in similar fashion

Stillwater, okra. — There was a moment in West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State on Monday when Eric Stevenson was the best player on the floor. He led the Mountaineers with 17 points on 7-of-12 shots from the floor and scored nine points in a row to give WVU the lead in the second half after trailing by 13.

And then it happened again. Stevenson was assessed a technical foul while celebrating a 3-pointer, making it his fourth personal foul. Less than two minutes later, an offensive foul ended Stevenson’s night. He fouled out in back-to-back games and was whistled for technical fouls. Stevenson’s actions dulled a wave of momentum his teammates were unable to regain as the Mountaineers lost his 67–60.

West Virginia’s Eric Stevenson, 10, celebrates his 3-point basket (© SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK)

“Twice we got the game on our way. Twice someone thought it was more important to see him than to see us. That’s wrong.” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said.

The struggle in the Charity Stripes continues to be a mess as the Mountaineers missed 11 of 28 attempts.

“I think it comes down to a guy’s integrity. Whether or not you hit 100 shots before you leave the gym is up to you in a way,” said Tre Mitchell. You can, but it really isn’t, I personally don’t know if a man has or doesn’t, I know I make everything for myself every day.

After spinning the ball more than 20 times in Saturday’s loss at Kansas State, 15 more giveaways followed against the Cowboys.

“I had 35 turnovers in two games,” Huggins said. “How can I call myself a basketball player when in his two games on the basketball team he flipped 35 times?”

Bob Huggins went deep into the bench with 11 players on the court. Sophomore Pat Smenick saw the most extensive action in six weeks. He had 4 rebounds and 2 points in 7 minutes.

“He did a great job,” Huggins said. “He missed some free throws, he missed some shots around the goal. I think I’ll work a little harder on those things, knowing that

The Mountaineers arrive at the halfway point of the regular season next week, with 16 conference games left on the calendar. But in a conference widely regarded as the deepest in the country, his two missed opportunities on the road have the Mountaineers looking up every team in the league standings.

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