COLUMBIA, Miss. — West Virginia didn’t score until only 14:48 remained in the first half of its road game at Missouri as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Falling behind by 11 points was too much of a hurdle for the Mountaineers to overcome and they fell, 80-71, to the Tigers.
The Mountaineers were 6-3 with the loss and Missouri went to 8-0.
Midway through the first half, WVU trailed, 24-10, and the Mountaineers were outscored, 8-2, in the last minutes of the opening half to trail, 36-22, at intermission.
West Virginia went 8-for-29 (28 percent ) from the field and 5-for-11 (46 percent) from the foul line in an unproductive first half.
Missouri’s three starting guards — Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown and Earnest Ross — combined to score 59 points in the win.
West Virginia reserves Gary Browne and Terry Henderson each scored 14 points and Juwan Staten, who played all 40 minutes, added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Coach Bob Huggins’ starters Kevin Noreen and Nathan Adrian combined to play 33 minutes and scored four points and had five rebounds between them.
West Virginia was outrebounded, 40-32, and had only eight assists as a team.
On Dec. 10, the Mountaineers drew a season-high crowd of 9,350 to the Coliseum in losing an 80-76 decision to 20th-ranked Gonzaga.
West Virginia had a four-point halftime lead and had extended it to 10 points at the 16:08 mark of the second half.
With but 8:22 remaining, the Mountaineers still had a 64-56 lead, but were outscored 24-12 in the non-conference game’s last eight minutes.
The Mountaineers, then 6-4 overall, had Eron Harris score 18 of his 23 points in the first half. Juwan Staten, who played all 40 minutes, added 17 points and Terry Henderson in his first start of the season scored another 15 points.
Gonzaga, 9-1 overall, made 19-of-23 free throws and outrebounded the Mountaineers, 43-36. Przemek Karnowski, the Bulldogs’ 7-foot-1 center, scored a team-high 19 points and claimed a game-high 13 rebounds. He was 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Kevin Pangos, whose three long-range field goals in Gonzaga’s comeback were instrumental in the win, scored 18 points and was 4-for-8 from three-point range.