Terry Henderson came off the bench to score 17 points - 15 of those coming in the first half - to lead streaking West Virginia to a 63-50 victory over TCU Saturday afternoon at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.
It was the Mountaineers’ third consecutive win in Big 12 play to even their league record to 5-5.
“The exciting thing is now we’re 5-5 in the league and there are going to be some people lose today that are going to kind of fall back to us,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, coaching his 1,000th career game this afternoon. Huggins is now 722-278 as a collegiate head coach. “Now we take a day off, we go at it for two days, and then we go to Waco (to play Baylor).”
Today, Henderson gave West Virginia a big boost when both teams were struggling to score, scoring 10 points himself during one first half stretch that turned a 17-16 deficit into a 25-19 Mountaineer lead. TCU eventually tied the game at 28 before Jabarie Hinds busted a 3 ahead of the horn to give West Virginia a 31-28 advantage at the break.
The Mountaineers got points on four consecutive possessions early in the second half, including a 3 from the corner by Eron Harris, to give them a 42-34 lead and force TCU coach Trent Johnson to call timeout.
After the Horned Frogs drew to within four, 44-40, West Virginia went on another run to push the lead back to 11, 51-40, on another 3 by Harris with 8:39 remaining.
West Virginia’s two freshmen, Henderson and Harris, combined to score 31 points, Harris finishing with 14, while Hinds contributed 12.
West Virginia shot 51.2 percent from the floor (22 of 43), including 7 of 10 from 3. Henderson was 3 of 4, Harris was 2 of 3, and Hinds and Aaric Murray made their 3-point tries.
“We’ve gotten a bunch a heat, and rightfully so, for not making a bunch of shots, but we recruited the freshmen to be able to make shots and I think people are going to see that those guys are going to have a career of making a bunch of shots,” said Huggins. “Terry was very, very good today.”
TCU, coming off the biggest win in school history, 62-55 win over fifth-ranked Kansas on Wednesday, got 16 from guard Kyan Anderson. Connell Crossland added 13. Forward Garland Green, who lit up KU for 20, scored just 3 points today, going 1 of 12 from the floor.
TCU (10-13, 1-9) shot just 36.2 percent for the game after shooting at better than a 60-percent clip in the first half. A 2-3 zone the Mountaineers used for most of the second half was the culprit.
“The focus at halftime was they were shooting 60 percent from the field and you’re not going to win with them doing that, obviously,” said Huggins. “I did a TV thing in there and they asked me where the 2-3 zone came from. It’s kind of like when you are a kid and you’re playing sandlot football and you’re drawing in the dirt, that’s kind of what it was because we really hadn’t spent a lot of time with it.
“I wanted them to have to run clock, but I also actually wanted us to get a rebound once or twice, too, but I wanted to kind of burn some time, particularly when we got up eight or 10,” said Huggins.
The victory boosts West Virginia’s record back over .500 at 12-11. It was also the Mountaineers’ second series sweep in consecutive games, previously sweeping regular season games against Texas back on Monday.
West Virginia is back out on the road at Baylor on Wednesday night. That game tips at 9 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPN2.