For a while, Romero Osby, OU's 6-foot-8 senior forward, was doing his best to match the 36-point performance that Kansas' Ben McLemore had against WVU on Saturday. By the break he had 16 points and finished with 26, while Steve Pledger added 20.
West Virginia didn't go down quietly, though. The Mountaineers fell behind by 17 points in the first half and by 13 midway through the second half, but put a scare into the Sooners and their 9.857 fans. That was in large part due to Harris, Murray and Kilicli.
With Harris and Murray hitting from the outside and Murray and Kilicli scoring inside, a 62-49 Oklahoma lead was trimmed rapidly. A Harris 3-pointer got it all the way down to four, 66-62, and it was still f=four, 68-64, with five minutes to play.
But then the Mountaineers turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions, OU took advantage of both and then some, and soon the margin was 76-64 and the game was over.
Afterward, the Mountaineers had a hard time remembering that their second half was actually a pretty good one with that red-hot shooting.
"It's hard to think about all the good things you did because of all the bad ones,'' said Harris, who made five of his 10 3-point tries.
West Virginia was also plagued by an awful inability to prevent Oklahoma from getting offensive rebounds. The Sooners had 23 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds.
"We came in telling them we had to keep them off the foul line. They got 27 foul shots,'' Huggins said. "We said we can't let them have second shots. They got second shots. That's how they beat us before and they beat us again.''
West Virginia couldn't have gotten off to a much worse start at the beginning of the game. The Mountaineers fell behind the hot-shooting Sooners 10-1 at the start, trailed by as many as 17 twice and had to rally just to be down 39-28 at halftime.
West Virginia encountered many of its familiar early-game problems. The Mountaineers turned it over on two of the first three possessions and needed to get hot at the end just to shoot 39 percent (11-of-28) from the floor.
West Virginia also once again found itself in early foul trouble inside. Kevin Noreen played only eight minutes and had three fouls, while Dominique Rutledge and Aaric Murray had two fouls each. Only Kilicli survived and had 12 first-half points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1