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WVU basketball: Henderson takes hot hand on two-game road trip

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- What Terry Henderson has shown to his West Virginia teammates and to their opponents the past two games is something Bob Huggins has observed and managed ever since Henderson and Eron Harris showed up as freshmen in the summer of 2012.

"When you're a guy like Terry, sometimes being a great guy in sports is not a good thing," the Mountaineers coach said. "You put too many things on yourself. You think too much. You care too much. The guys who are really great scorers, they'll miss 10 in a row and think they're going to make the next 10. And they probably will.

"Terry's not like that. Eron is more that way than Terry is. Eron's a great guy, too, but he doesn't have the conscience that Terry does."

Henderson had what he considered one of the worst games of his career in Saturday's loss to Kansas State. He shot 1-for-8, missed his only two 3-point attempts, didn't get to the free-throw line and scored two points in 28 minutes.

WVU lost to the Wildcats by 22 points and had its worst shooting and lowest scoring day of the season.

He lived with it for the next few days and made it disappear Wednesday night. Henderson made 10 of 13 shots, including 5 of 6 3-pointers, and hounded the basket on the way to a career-high 28 points.

WVU won to snap a three-game losing streak overall and a four-game losing streak at home.

"I just came out ready to play, man," he said. "Against Kansas State, I don't think I really came out ready to play. I get down on myself when I miss my first couple of shots. Whenever I play like that, I always want to come out and play harder. That's all I tried to do (Monday)."

The Mountaineers (11-8, 3-3 Big 12) will need Henderson's surge to continue. They play No. 11 Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena and try to snap a 15-game losing streak to ranked opponents. On Tuesday, WVU plays at No. 24 Baylor at the Ferrell Center.

Oklahoma State's Phil Forte has made half of his 3-point shots (53 of 106) to lead the Big 12. Baylor's Brady Heslip is second at 48.1 percent (52-for-108).

Henderson helped WVU survive Texas Tech's Dusty Hannahs, who was 7-for-7 to match former guard Lionel Armstead's Coliseum record he set in 2001 and to set a record for an opponent. Henderson, who was second in 3-point shooting in conference games last season, scored 20 points after halftime and made all seven of his shots.

"That can happen," Harris said. "The mind can do a lot of things. His mind told him his shot was going in every single time. They rattled in. They swished in. It didn't matter. They all went in."

Harris battled his mind during a shooting slump he's since shaken, but he had one stretch that saw him make just 3 of 11 3-point attempts in an overtime road win against Texas Tech before shooting 3-for-11 overall in back-to-back losses against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech when he missed 12 of 13 3-point shots.

Harris never stopped shooting, though. He's taken at least 10 shots in all but three games and averages a team-high 13 shots per game.

"I get down on myself and it's something I always work on," Harris said. "I've been trying to work on that by still shooting. I just want to shoot it. If I'm open, my role is to shoot it, so I'm going to try to shoot with confidence, even if I'm down on myself. That's me working on keeping myself up."

Henderson's eight shots against the Wildcats were the fewest since the Dec. 14 game against Marshall, which was his second game in the starting lineup. He only scored fewer than 10 points once in his first eight starts - and WVU lost that game to Purdue.

"Eron's a guy who it doesn't seem like it bothers him as much as it does other people," Huggins said. "I think missing shots bothers Terry more than it bothers Eron. There are a lot of guys who can score and have that mentality where they figure if they miss this one, they'll make the next one.

"I think Eron is that way. Some guys have a little more conscience for it. Maybe that's not the right word, but that's kind of what it is. Some guys worry about missing shots and other guys think they'll make the next one."

Henderson did have one rough patch to challenge him early Monday. He was having a hard time guarding Hannahs and a harder time dribbling the ball through the defense to the basket. He didn't relent.

"Eron's a great player and he's going to stay in attack mode," Henderson said. "That's something I'm learning from him these two seasons."

By the end of the game, Henderson was scoring on left-handed layups, dunking in offensive rebounds while being fouled and sinking 3-pointers to keep a distance between Hannahs and the Red Raiders.

"Having a game like that?" Harris said. "Your confidence is on 100 when you have a game like that."


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