"You've got to win some like this,'' Huggins said. "You've got to win some when people don't play their best and somebody else has to step up. And obviously Juwan did.''
The hope for West Virginia is that if or when teams begin committing more resources to stop Staten's drives that it will leave West Virginia's outside shooters with more opportunities. Then it goes back to what the Mountaineers have depended upon all season, which is making perimeter shots.
There's no reason to think that those shots won't fall, either. There are likely to be games when they don't, but overall three of WVU's shooters are among the Big 12's top 10 in 3-point percentage and a fourth likely would be if he had more attempts. Harris is third (42.3 percent), Dibo fourth (41.4), Henderson 10th (36.6) and Adrian (38.8) would be if he had the minimum of 1.5 makes per game (he has 1.2).
Tonight, West Virginia could well find itself in a 3-point shooting match with Oklahoma. The teams are second and third in the league in 3-point attempts and makes behind Iowa State. Sophomore Buddy Hield is OU's primary outside threat and is fourth in the league in 3s.
The Sooners are as balanced a team as there is with five players averaging in double figures - Hield (17.0), 6-foot-7 senior Cameron Clark (16.1), freshman point guard Jordan Woodard (11.3), forward Ryan Spangler (11.1) and sophomore guard Isaiah Cousins (10.4).
Perhaps the biggest matchup problem for West Virginia will be Spangler, a 6-8, 232-pound sophomore who transferred from Gonzaga. He's averaging a double-double (leading the Big 12 in rebounding at 10.2 per game). In an 88-76 win over Oklahoma State last week, Spangler had 15 points and 17 rebounds in just 25 minutes.
Tonight's game is the first of four straight against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. The Mountaineers play at No. 8 Kansas Saturday, are home to No. 16 Iowa State Monday and then travel to No. 15 Texas a week from Saturday.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.