MORGANTOWN, W.Va. ¬-- Javan Felix scored nine of his 17 points in the final three minutes as Texas upended No. 6 West Virginia 56-49 on Wednesday night, handing the Big 12 co-leaders their first home loss of the season.
"You've got to believe," Texas coach Shaka Smart said after the Longhorns came to WVU Coliseum having lost their first two Big 12 road games. "If you don't believe in this place, you've got no shot."
Though badly outrebounded, the Longhorns (12-6, 4-2) committed only eight turnovers against the Mountaineers' typically disruptive press and kept the home crowd restless by limiting West Virginia to 3-of-21 shooting from 3-point range.
West Virginia (15-3, 4-2 Big 12), which had been scoring more than 84 points per game, became the third top-10 Big 12 power to lose in the last 48 hours. Its 12-game home win streak ended despite 11 points and 11 rebounds from forward Devin Williams and 10 points and 14 boards from Jonathan Holton.
"Texas is always going to be good -- just because they're Texas and they get high-rated players," Holton said. "You can't take off any game in the Big 12."
The Mountaineers' 49-33 edge on the glass was mitigated by subpar nights from key contributors. Dynamic sixth man Jaysean Paige struggled with 2-of-12 shooting from the field for four points. Guard Jevon Carter managed just three points on 1-of-9 shooting from the floor.
"We just weren't into it," said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, noting that his team was dreadful at Tuesday's practice. "For some people, success sometimes is hard to handle."
After a 3-pointer by guard Daxter Miles pulled West Virginia even at 42, Texas answered with five straight points on a dunk by forward Shaq Cleare and a corner 3 by forward Conner Lammert.
From there, Felix took over. He put back a baseline floater off his own miss and made two free throws before added a 3-pointer with 1:38 left.
In a matchup of the Big 12's worst foul-shooting teams, Texas was only 18 of 30. Yet that was far better than West Virginia's 8 of 23, which included Carter missing the front end of a one-and-one with 2:02 left and trailing 51-47.
Texas overcame 0-of-8 shooting from the field by leading scorer Isaiah Taylor, though the point guard contributed a team-high six rebounds and three assists. He also played turnover-free for 36 minutes as the Longhorns' three starting guards combined for only one.
"We knew as guards if we kept our poise we'd be successful," Felix said.
The Mountaineers, making their first appearance in the AP Top 10 since 2010, didn't resemble an elite team.
During an eight-minute stretch of the first half, West Virginia missed 10 of 11 shots from the field while committing seven fouls and four turnovers. One of those giveaways wound up in the hands of Longhorns guard Tevin Mack, who raced in for a layup and a 17-11 lead.
Despite the clunky start, the Mountaineers threatened to lead at the half -- at least until they abandoned Felix for an open 3-pointer and sent Taylor to the foul line with 2.8 seconds left. The point guard sank both free throws, an oddity on this night, to put Texas ahead 28-25 at the break.
NOTES: F Elijah Macon, after going 2 of 7 at the foul line, on what might cure West Virginia's free-throw woes: "Shoot a thousand a day." ... West Virginia came in forcing 20.7 turnovers per game. ... West Virginia's bench, normally a difference-maker, was outscored 21-15 by Texas. ... Texas played its seventh game without top rebounding C Cameron Ridley, who broke his left foot in practice on Dec. 27 and is expected to miss at least another month. ... The Longhorns have committed only 27 turnovers during their last four games.