AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Andrew Jones scored 22 points to lead Texas past No. 20 West Virginia 67-57 on Monday night as the injury-depleted Longhorns continued a late-season surge.
Courtney Ramey added 21 points for Texas (17-11, 7-8 Big 12), which has won three in a row. The Mountaineers (19-9, 7-8) have lost six straight on the road in conference play.
West Virginia beat Texas by 38 points back on Jan. 20, the worst loss of coach Shaka Smart’s five years with the Longhorns. But the Mountaineers came limping into the rematch and Texas did not resemble the timid team that got pushed around in Morgantown.
Oscar Tshiebwe scored 14 points to lead West Virginia.
Jones scored 16 points in the first half on a barrage of 3-pointers, and the Longhorns shot 62% against one of the best defensive teams in the country to lead 34-28 at halftime. Texas trailed by 25 at halftime in the first meeting.
The Longhorns are short-handed in the frontcourt with a lineup hit with injuries and illness, leaving it up Jones and Courtney Ramey to provide the scoring punch. Both have delivered in the winning streak and both kept knocking down big shots against West Virginia.
West Virginia cut the Texas lead to three early in the second half before Ramey drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing, then made another to push the lead to nine.
The Mountaineers’ last real chance to push for the lead came when Smart was called for a technical foul and Sean McNeil made both free throws to get West Virginia within 54-47. But Texas’ Matt Coleman made a quick jumper on the other end and any momentum quickly died.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers have been woeful on the road and terrible free throw shooting doomed them Monday night. They were 10 of 21 on a night they got to the shooting bonus early in the second half. Just a few made shots would have kept the game close.
Texas: The Longhorns are playing the sort of desperate basketball they needed a month ago. They have clawed back from the bottom third of the league in a season of open speculation on Smart’s future with the program.