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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Brandon Knapper came off the bench to score a career-high 25 points to lead West Virginia over Oklahoma 79-71 on Saturday.
Derek Culver scored 13 points and pulled 14 rebounds in his first start for the Mountaineers (10-12, 2-7 Big 12 Conference). Wesley Harris added 13 points as well. Knapper had six of the eight free throws for the Mountaineers in the final 33 seconds. Culver had the other two as he and Knapper combined for West Virginia’s final 16 points for its first win since New Year’s.
Walk-on Trey Doomes made two free throws to cap an 8-0 run as West Virginia capped a back-and-forth first half with a 33-26 lead.
The Mountaineers kept a two-possession cushion for most of the second half, until a flurry of West Virginia fouls led to repeated trips to the line for the Sooners to close the gap.
Oklahoma (15-7, 3-6) went more than 6½ minutes without scoring from the field but hit 13 free throws to cut the Mountaineer lead down to as little as one with six minutes to play.
Knapper had 10 points and Culver 6 in the last 3½ minutes.
Esa Ahmad had added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Mountaineers, his first double-double of the season.
Brady Manek led the Sooners with 18 points, Aaron Calixte added 17 and Kristian Doolittle pulled 12 rebounds.
Oklahoma: Sooners leading scorer Christian James has struggled from the field over the last two games, going a combined 3 of 19 from the field against Baylor and West Virginia. He was just 1 of 10 from the field, missing all four of his 3-pointers, but was 8 of 8 from the foul line.
West Virginia: Esa Ahmad has scored in double figures for his third-straight game. The Mountaineers pounded the boards for a 46-30 advantage, which helped lead to a 27-9 advantage in second-chance points.
Oklahoma hosts No. 20 Iowa State on Monday.
West Virginia hits the road to take on No. 16 Texas Tech on Monday.
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