MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Devin Williams tied a career-high with 22 points to lead No. 20 West Virginia to an 81-72 victory over Oklahoma State in the teams’ regular-season finale Saturday.
Daxter Miles Jr. added 15 points for the Mountaineers (23-8, 11-7 Big 12), who were without injured senior guards Juwan Staten and Gary Browne in their final home game. Williams had 13 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.
Most of Williams’ work came from the free throw line, where he went 14 of 15.
Jeff Newberry scored a career-high 23 points on 8 of 11 shooting for Oklahoma State. Anthony Hickey added 17 points, Phil Forte had 13 and Le’Bryan Nash 10.
The Cowboys (18-12, 8-10) head into the conference tournament with losses in five of their last six games.
Staten missed his third straight game with a left knee injury. Browne sprained his left ankle in a loss a week ago at No. 14 Baylor.
Using the same lineup that led No. 9 Kansas by as many as 18 points before the Mountaineers lost in overtime on Monday night, West Virginia didn’t waste a double-digit lead this time with their two senior leaders on the bench.
Williams’ three-point play staked West Virginia to a 53-39 lead early in the second half before the Mountaineers went scoreless over the next 3 minutes.
Forte made two 3-pointers in between getting poked in his right eye to bring Oklahoma State within 55-49, but the Cowboys got no closer.
Jaysean Paige hit a baseline jumper and a 3-pointer during an 8-0 run that put West Virginia ahead 65-50 with 6:43 left.
West Virginia’s Tarik Phillip provided some separation during a mostly tight first half with a 3-pointer and a driving layup to help the Mountaineers jump ahead by as many as 11 before settling for a 39-33 halftime lead. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field in the first half.
During a chase for a loose ball early in the second half, West Virginia’s Nathan Adrian rolled on the ankle of Nash, who left the game briefly but didn’t make a field goal the rest of the game.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys’ only lead came on the game’s first basket, a 3-pointer by Newberry. … The Cowboys shot 54 percent (26 of 48) for the game but were outscored 23-9 from the free throw line.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers got 28 points from their bench, including nine from Paige and eight apiece from Phillip and Elijah Macon.
Browne and Staten exchanged long hugs with coach Bob Huggins during pregame introductions. Both players thanked the crowd for supporting them during their careers.
“You guys took me in and treated me as one of your own,” said Staten, who transferred from Dayton after his freshman season. “You watched me grow from a boy to a man. I could always count on basketball. I could always count on the crowd. I appreciate everything.”
Both teams play in the Big 12 tournament starting Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri