For all the reasons to love Oklahoma, the knock on this veteran-led team has been an inability to win in these true road games against top-10 opponents. The Sooners entered Saturday’s game at No. 10 West Virginia with just one victory in its past 20 road games against top-10 teams, and it looked like another loss was in the cards when it was the Mountaineers, not Sooners, coming up with strong plays late.
At least until the very end, when Oklahoma’s least-likely star kickstarted what would be a 12-3 run in the final two minutes.
Khadeem Lattin (nine points, 13 rebounds, six blocks) completed a stellar game with huge plays to solidify the 76-62 victory. The 6-foot-9 sophomore first got an offensive rebound and put it back for a bucket then followed that with a block at the other end in back-to-back possessions in the final two minutes. The other four starters get plenty of deserved attention, but it was Lattin’s play over that 30-second stretch that ended up being the difference.
#Big12MBB: Late big plays for Khadeem Lattin help @OU_MBBall top West Virginia on the road, 76-62 https://t.co/ajZ1bvHqXG
— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) February 20, 2016
Buddy Hield led all scorers with 29 points, but West Virginia did a great job making the Player of the Year candidate battle for every bucket. Tarik Phillip (17 points) and Jevon Carter were in Hield’s face all afternoon and sometimes his inability to get space led to long droughts for the Sooners offense and contributed to the team’s 40.3 percent shooting from the field and 8-for-27 showing from behind the arc.
West Virginia has no time to sulk after this disappointing loss with Iowa State coming to Morgantown on Monday night, especially if the Mountaineers want to keep have a shot at catching Kansas for even a share of the Big 12 title. Oklahoma has the disadvantage of losing both regular-season games to the Jayhawks, but Hield and the crew are now sitting in a tie for second place with WVU and Baylor at 10-5.