In a crucial Big 12 showdown, West Virginia Basketball picked up a season-defining win in dramatic fashion over Oklahoma State.
After enduring a drastically tumultuous week, West Virginia Basketball rebounded in a convincing manner, capping off the program’s biggest comeback in over a decade in an 87-84 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater on Monday night in a pivotal Big 12 match-up.
The Cowboys led in this tilt for nearly 37 minutes and looked like they would run away with the win for 29 of those 37 minutes. They maintained their largest lead with 11:15 left in the game after Rondel Walker drained two free-throws to make it 68-49 – and looked primed to dominate a West Virginia squad coming off a disappointing loss to Oklahoma.
But the exact opposite happened. With WVU’s Oscar Tshiebwe gone, the Mountaineers have been forced to adopt a four-guard lineup – and that change of identity worked. More on that later, but that change allowed the Mountaineers to return to their “Press Virginia” days – and that is when the game changed.
For Oklahoma State, this loss is, obviously, incredibly disappointing – especially having lost to TCU and Texas by a combined four points in two of their last three games. They had stellar games out of freshman sensation Cade Cunningham (25 points on 10-16 FG, 3-8 3PT, 2-2 FT and nine rebounds) and junior Isaac Likekele (22 points on 9-14 FG, 4-7 FT, seven rebounds, and four assists) – while featuring two more double-digit scorers in Rondel Walker (12 points) and Bryce Williams (11 points).
For West Virginia, this win was crucial for the post-Tshiebwe era. They nearly rallied from an 18-point deficit to usurp Oklahoma in their first game without the big man on Saturday but failed to seal the deal. Now, the Mountaineers own a victory with an even larger comeback – over a borderline top 25 Oklahoma State squad – and it could not come at a more crucial stretch in WVU’s schedule.