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Free throws the difference as Oklahoma nips West Virginia

Jan 14, 2023; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers forward Mohamed Wague (11) and Oklahoma Sooners forward Jalen Hill (1) fight for a loose ball during the first half at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Grant Sherfield scored 22 points to lead Oklahoma to a 77-76 victory over West Virginia on Saturday in Norman, Okla.

The Sooners have won eight consecutive regular-season games against the Mountaineers.

West Virginia has struggled recently to make free throws late in games, and once again, those issues plagued the Mountaineers.

With 1:05 remaining and the game tied at 70, Joe Toussaint went to the line for West Virginia and missed both free throws.

The Sooners then converted at the line themselves, with Jalen Hill making a pair of free throws with 31 seconds remaining to put the Sooners in front.

Then Hill grabbed a crucial rebound off of Erik Stevenson’s missed 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining before being fouled and converting two more free throws to put the Sooners up by 4.

With Oklahoma up 76-73 with four seconds on the clock, Sherfield missed his first free throw attempt but converted the second to make it a two-possession game. Sherfield was 9 of 11 at the line as the Sooners were 18 of 25 overall.

Seth Wilson made a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it wasn’t enough for the Mountaineers.

West Virginia finished just 8 of 16 from the free-throw line.

Hill scored 14 for the Sooners (11-6, 2-3 Big 12) while Milos Uzan added 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

The Sooners led by nine, 50-41, with under 14 minutes remaining.

But from there, the Mountaineers started having success by pounding the ball inside.

After Uzan missed a pair of free throws with 2:04 remaining and with the Sooners clinging to a one-point lead, the Mountaineers had a chance to take their first lead of the game at the line.

But Tre Mitchell missed the first of two, with his second tying the score for the first time since early in the second half.

Mitchell led West Virginia (10-7, 0-5) with 16 points while Toussaint added 14. Kedrian Johnson (13 points) and Emmitt Matthews Jr. (11) also reached double figures.

The Sooners jumped out to a 12-7 lead, thanks in part to buckets on back-to-back possessions by Jacob Groves as Oklahoma started 5 of 9 from the floor. West Virginia struggled early, starting 2 of 8.

–Field Level Media