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Texas vs. West Virginia Basketball Preview and Gamethread

The Texas Longhorns rebounded from the blowout Kansas State loss at home with a dominant win over Oklahoma State, and now turn their attention to a surging West Virginia.

Behind Javan Felix's 27 points (including 6-8 from three) and Cameron Ridley's 12 point and 13 rebound performance, the Jonathan Holmes-less Horns rebounded after a brutal loss in Manhattan to run a depleted Oklahoma State out of the Frank Erwin Center. They'll look to keep the hot shooting (11-23 from 3 and 26-55 overall, as well as 24-31 from the line) alive in a must win situation at home.

Having already dropped one home game against the Big 12 middle of the pack (the conference opener against Oklahoma), another loss to the group at #3 to #6 in the conference could be a problem when it comes to conference tournament seeding. Factor in a difficult stretch ahead, where 3 of the next 4 games feature road trips to Kansas, Iowa State, and Oklahoma, and the difference between #2 and # 6 in the conference is only 3 games, the home contest with WVU is as close to must win as can be at this point.

Enter the West Virginia Mountaineers. Winners of 4 of their last 5 (with the only loss coming at Kansas), West Virginia is hanging around in the Big 12 race, sitting tied for 4th with OU at 7-5 in conference and 15-10 overall. While leading scorer Juwan Staten has been the consistent threat through the stretch (15 points and a game winner at Baylor, 35 against Kansas State, 20 in the OT win over OU, and 19 in the blowout against Iowa State), he's been getting a lift from the WVU supporting cast of late. Eron Harris added 28 against OU and forward Remi Dibo added 20 points in 20 minutes against ISU.

Two promising signs are working in the Horns favor. For one, head coach Rick Barnes expects leader Jonathan Holmes to return from his knee injury against the Mountaineers. And two, WVU has not been successful in bringing their show on the road against the top of the conference. In conference play, the Mountaineers are 4-2 at home and 3-3 on the road, with the road wins coming against the Big 12's bottom TCU, Baylor, and Texas Tech.

On January 13th, Texas knocked off West Virginia in Morgantown behind a balanced effort. Cam Ridley led the way with a big 12 points and 12 rebounds, Jonathan Holmes added 9 points and 12 boards, Javan Felix scored 19, and Isaiah Taylor pitched in 10 points and 8 rebounds.

The game is at 7pm central on the Longhorn Network.