West Virginia holds off Max Abmas, No. 25 Texas


Pat Suemnick scored a season-high 16 points and West Virginia hit six free throws in the final 26 seconds to outlast No. 25 Texas 76-73 on Saturday evening in a Big 12 Conference clash in Morgantown, W.V.

The Mountaineers (6-10, 1-2 Big 12) led 30-28 at halftime, later expanding their advantage to 11 points on a pair of free throws by Quinn Slazinski with 5:45 to play. Texas battled back to within 66-63 when Max Abmas hit a 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining.

After a dunk by Akok Akok and a free throw by Noah Farrakhan made it 71-65, another 3-pointer by Abmas got Texas back within three points with 22 seconds to go. Two free throws by Slazinski with 17 seconds left pushed the lead back to five points, but Abmas answered with two makes of his own from the charity stripe.

Raequan Battle then hit two free throws and, after a Texas turnover, Slazinski hit another with nine seconds to play. Abmas’ final basket from beyond the arc was only window dressing as the Mountaineers held on.

Kerr Kriisa and Battle scored 14 points apiece for West Virginia, while Slazinski added 13.

Abmas led all scorers with 32 points while hitting seven 3-pointers. Dylan Disu added 18 points, 15 of them in the second half, for Texas (12-4, 1-2) before fouling out with 2:16 to play. Brock Cunningham also fouled out for the Longhorns, who committed a season-high 22 turnovers.

The teams combined for 43 personal fouls and 62 free-throw attempts.

The first half was a slugfest, with neither team leading by more than four. There were four ties and 11 lead changes, but there were also a combined 22 turnovers (12 by Texas).

A layup by the Longhorns’ Ze’rik Onyema at the 6:54 mark tied the game at 16. Texas took a 21-18 lead when Abmas hit a 3-pointer and then a jumper — the latter with 5:24 to play in the half — before the Mountaineers responded with a 6-0 run capped by a pair of free throws from Suemnick that put them up 24-21 with 3:39 remaining.

Suemnick canned a turnaround jumper with 42 seconds to play to grant the Mountaineers a 30-28 lead at the break.