West Virginia rides dominant first half to win over No. 14 TCU


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Kedrian Johnson scored 20 points and West Virginia built a big early lead and outlasted No. 14 TCU 74-65 on Wednesday night.

Jimmy Bell Jr. added 15 points and 12 rebounds for West Virginia (11-7, 1-5 Big 12), whose players slapped hands with the student section after breaking a five-game losing streak.

Mike Miles Jr. scored 21 points while Emanuel Miller and Damion Baugh had 13 apiece for TCU (14-4, 3-3), which has lost three of its last four after starting the season 13-1.

After a lackluster first half, the Horned Frogs made it interesting toward the end.

Down 17 with 11 minutes remaining, TCU sank eight free throws during a 13-2 run. Miles then hit a 3-pointer and an ensuing free throw after getting fouled, and Jakobe Coles made layups on back-to-back possessions to pull the Horned Frogs within 62-60 with 5:17 left.

But TCU made just two field goals over the final five minutes and West Virginia never relinquished the lead.

The Mountaineers’ Erik Stevenson scored nine points in the first half but earned a seat on the bench for much of the second half and got an earful from coach Bob Huggins for defensive lapses and four turnovers. After returning, Stevenson fed Bell for a dunk, then grabbed a defensive rebound that Joe Toussaint turned into a layup for a 68-60 lead with 3:07 left.

West Virginia started with one of its best efforts all season, making 9 of its first 14 shots and racing to a 28-12 lead. The Mountaineers, guilty too often this season of one-pass possessions, made crisp passes on offense and clogged the paint on defense, while TCU was unable to get its transition offense on track until it was too late.

TCU trailed 39-24 at halftime, its lowest first-half scoring output of the season.

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