March 10 KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Bob Huggins recognized that his No. 11 West Virginia team didn't play particularly well, but they played well enough to win and move on with a 63-53 victory over Texas in the second round of the Big 12 tournament Thursday.
The Mountaineers face Kansas State in Friday's semifinals.
"We obviously didn't play very well today," Huggins said. "(We) didn't shoot it very well from the free throw line. Didn't make layups."
The 63 points was the fourth-lowest point total of the season for West Virginia (25-7). Texas was 15 points below its season average.
Neither team shot particularly well, especially from the free-throw line. The Mountaineers were 10 for 20, which was better than Texas (8 of 19). From the field, West Virginia shot 42.6 percent and Texas shot 35.1 percent.
"I don't think (West Virginia's aggressiveness) was affecting our shooting percentage as much as it affected our flow of what we were trying to do, which I guess in turn affected our shooting percentage," Texas coach Shaka Smart said. "But, man, we got a lot of open looks that didn't go in. It's hard to be aggressive defending free throws, and we shot under 50 percent from the foul line.
"They did what West Virginia does so well. They were the more aggressive team. Over the course of the game, I think there was a cumulative affect from the way they play. "
The second half started slowly as the Longhorns outscored the Mountaineers 11-10 in the first 10 minutes of the half. Both teams picked up the pace, but the Longhorns could only cut the deficit to four points. West Virginia made enough shots to keep the Longhorns at bay.
West Virginia struggled against Texas on the inside.
"They're kind of like Baylor," Elijah Macon said. "Once you get inside you have to pump-fake those guys. You can't just go in and shoot a layup."
West Virginia was led by Jevon Carter with 21 points. Macon had eight points and 10 rebounds. As has been the case all season, the Mountaineers were balanced in scoring, with nine different players showing up in the scoring column.
Carter hit a big 3-point bucket off a Nathan Adrian steal to put West Virginia up 11. The Longhorns could get no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
"Nate did what he does," Carter said of his big bucket. "He came up with the steal, saved it to me, I caught it, and noticed I was wide open and just shot it in. We did a good job on the press. Guys were getting the handle on the ball."
Texas (11-22) was led by Andrew Jones with 13 points and Kendal Yancy with 11. Jarrett Allen had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Texas withstood an early run by West Virginia to claw back into the game. After the Mountaineers opened a 15-5 early lead, the Longhorns came back to take a 23-22 lead. There were three more lead changes and two ties before West Virginia surged back to a 39-30 lead at the half.
Carter led all scorers with 16 points. He was the only player in double-figures for either team. Nobody else for West Virginia had more than four points. Allen led Texas with seven points.
The Mountaineers shot 57.7 percent in the first half, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range. Texas, meanwhile, shot 39.3 percent.
-- Texas defeated West Virginia in six of the last 10 games, but West Virginia won all three games this season.
-- In his last 17 games (seven against top 12 opponents), Texas freshman Jarrett Allen averaged 15.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
-- West Virginia hasn't lost by double-digits this season for the first time since 1961. Three of the Mountaineers' seven losses were in overtime.