TCU beats West Virginia to end seven-game losing streak

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Taz Sherman scored 21 points, and West Virginia’s veterans beat TCU 70-64 in the Mountaineers’ senior game to end a seven-game losing streak.

Bob Huggins, West Virginia coach, said that his frustrations at seeing his team make similar mistakes over the past week boiled over while he was film-studying with his players. Huggins pulled his freshman players out of the session to let them practice their shots. The veterans needed to remain in the room and figure things out for themselves.

Huggins hoped his older players, some of whom were playing in their last home game, would double their efforts for a strong finish to the regular season.

They did.

Sherman shot 9 of 17 with three 3-pointers. Malik Curry, a fifth-year player, scored 10 points for the Mountaineers (15-16 and 4-14 Big 12). Senior Sean McNeil, who also made the winning free throw, scored 10 points. So did Jalen Bridges.

Mike Miles Jr. had 17 points, Damion Baugh and Micah Peavy each had 12, respectively for TCU (19-11 and 8-10). TCU lost to a last place Mountaineers team that suffered 14 losses in its 15 previous games.

TCU led 39-33 at halftime and took a lead of 15-4 midway through the second period. Baugh scored seven points to lead the Horned Frogs, who were leading 55-51. The Mountaineers fell behind six times during that stretch and looked like they hadn’t learned their lesson.

After TCU had led by six, the Mountaineers regained their lead and were able to tie the game with just four minutes left.

After TCU scored twice in the final minute, neither team was able to score for more than two minutes. West Virginia won the final 1:47 and outscored TCU 11-3. Sherman made two free throws following an offensive foul by TCU. Then senior Kedrian Johnson stole the ball. McNeil made four free throws in 11 seconds.

After taking a 6-0 advantage with five points from Sherman, West Virginia never trailed during the first half. After leading by as much as 11, the Mountaineers held on to the lead. However, the Horned Frogs pulled within two minutes of the end. West Virginia failed 11 consecutive shots. Sherman made his third 3-pointer in the half, and Pauly Paulicap, a fifth-year player, added a bucket to make it seven. There was one minute left.

Both teams split regular-season meetings and will head to the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo. Wednesday through Saturday.