MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Or maybe more like Comebacktown? Because no lead has been safe at the WVU Coliseum over the last week.
Six days ago, WVU women’s basketball eliminated a 12-point deficit by scoring 21 unanswered in the final 3:02 to defeat Kansas State, 65-56. Then, Monday night, Bob Huggins and the No. 11 WVU men pulled off a similarly remarkable comeback, as they climbed out of a 12-point hole to stun No. 10 Texas Tech, 88-87.
Huggins said the Mountaineers fell behind because they were their own “worst enemy” for most of the game. Their 12 turnovers led to 25 Tech points, and they were outscored by 16 in the paint.
But down the stretch, West Virginia was close to perfect offensively.
The Mountaineers went 10-10 from the field in the final 9:30 and didn’t commit a turnover in the final 11:31. They shot 57.7 percent from the field overall, including a season-high 63.2 percent from beyond the arc, but in the second half, they shot 66.7 percent in both categories.
It’s hard to lose, Huggins said, when a team shoots that well.
“You know, it’s a crazy thing — once it starts going in, it has a tendency to keep going in,” Huggins said.
That sharp shooting set the stage for another heroic moment for sophomore Miles McBride, who banked in the go-ahead basket with under 10 seconds remaining. The starting guard led WVU in scoring with 24 points and went 7-12 from the field.
“We had three options [on that play],” Huggins said. “The first one was the one that we really wanted, and Deuce did a great job.”
But that comeback against a top-10 opponent isn’t even West Virginia’s biggest of the season. The Mountaineers overcame a 19-point deficit three weeks ago at Oklahoma State, in just the program’s second game after the departure of forward Oscar Tshiebwe.
McBride also hit key shots to spark that comeback, netting 12 of his 21 points in final 3:50.
Fellow guard Sean McNeil said the way McBride impacts games is “tough to put into words.”
“He just makes plays for us, and it’s huge. To have him on the floor is vital for us,” McNeil said. “He does so much more than just scoring. He handles the ball, he makes plays, he knows how to make the right reads. Deuce is a heck of a player, man. He’s gonna be really good. Not only is he good now, he’s gonna continue to get better.”