LUBBOCK, Texas - For the entire season, the 2013-14 West Virginia Mountaineers have sought to avoid comparisons to last year's team.
There are so many bad memories, plenty of new faces and enough improvements among the returning players to make such talk invalid.
So it was that the six-game road losing streak these Mountaineers ended with Saturday's 74-69 win at TCU Saturday wasn't too concerning to the team. Players and coaches instead entered that game upset instead by the nature of the 0-2 mark in road games this season.
WVU trailed Missouri 29-22 late in the first half Dec. 5 before giving up a 16-2 run and falling behind by 25 points early in the second half. On the road for the first time in the season's second game against Virginia Tech, the Mountaineers led by 17 points in the middle of the first half, but ultimately gave up a 24-8 run and lost 87-82.
"Believe it or not, I thought we went to Virginia Tech with a lot of confidence," coach Bob Huggins said. "I thought we had confidence for Missouri. I don't think being on the road has been the problem. I think the problem is we didn't sustain anything. That's been a point of emphasis. We've got to play 40 minutes.
"You can't take plays off. You can't get ahead and take shots you wouldn't take in a close game, or be careless with the ball. We can get better at that. I think that's the biggest thing. You don't want to give up runs like we gave up."
TCU had won five in a row at home before Saturday, but the Horned Frogs' best run before a crowd of 5,038 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum was 6-0 and came in the first half. The Mountaineers led the final 21:42 and in separate segments in the second half had five scores in a one-possession game and later three scores in a one-possession game.
The final three were all by point guard Juwan Staten, who took over and scored WVU's last nine points in the final 4:07. TCU managed nine points in that stretch.
"The difference for us this game was we stayed true to what we try to do for 40 minutes," Staten said. "We have mental lapses on the offensive end and the defensive ends, but I think (Saturday) for pretty much most of the game we did what we were supposed to do."
The Mountaineers (9-5, 1-0 Big 12) ended their losing streak away from home by winning on the road for the first time since beating TCU on Feb. 9, 2013. That was also the back end of the last road winning streak, one that started with a win here against Texas Tech. WVU plays the Red Raiders (8-6, 0-1) at 7 p.m. today.