MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia turned the ball over 20 times, four Longhorns scored double digits and Sir’Jabari Rice scored a season-high 24 points as No. 5 Texas smashed WVU 94-60 in Austin on Saturday.
Rice had a nearly flawless performance at the Moody Center, missing just one field goal and shooting a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line to lead Texas to its largest Big 12 win since 2010. The fifth-year guard put up those big numbers despite playing just 17 minutes off the bench.
“He made shots,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins. “If you make shots, you’re very valuable. He talks a lot too, though, by the way.”
The story of the game, however, was WVU’s struggle on offense. The Mountaineers made 19 shots from the field, contrasted with its 20 giveaways in the contest. Texas turned those takeaways into 29 points.
Just one starter, Emmitt Matthews Jr., made more than one shot attempt in the game. He finished with 13 points to lead the Mountaineers in scoring for the second straight game.
“When he got hurt, he really didn’t shoot it very well for a pretty decent period after that,” Huggins said. “And then, here of late, he’s started to make shots again. I think he’s starting to feel a lot better.”
As a team, West Virginia converted 34 percent of its shot attempts. Josiah Harris and Pat Suemnick each added a trio of field goals to the total in the final few minutes of the game and combined for 15 points, but the team’s largest contributors struggled to get the ball through the rim.
Tre Mitchell had a nightmarish return to Austin after transferring from Texas to WVU in the offseason. The forward finished 1-for-3 with four points but gave up a game-leading five turnovers.
Timmy Allen was a rebound away from notching a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing nine boards. He also led the team with four assists, tied with Marcus Carr, who added 16 points.
Arterio Morris rounded out the Longhorns’ double-figure scorers with 12 points off the bench.
West Virginia missed a massive opportunity to further solidify its place in the NCAA Tournament as it aimed for its sixth Quadrant 1 win of the campaign. WVU also extended its losing streak against the Longhorns to four games and has dropped six of its last seven meetings between the two programs.
“I think with the wins that we have because see we’ve got out-of-conference wins too, big out-of-conference wins, so we’ll be alright,” Huggins said. “And then we get a chance again in the tournament in Kansas City.”
Texas, on the other end of the court, earned its ninth Quadrant 1 win of the season as it continues its quest for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
West Virginia remains in the Lone Star State for one more contest before tipping off a two-game homestand. It has a quick turnaround and will travel to Waco to face Baylor on Monday, with tip-off set for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.