MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A WVU guard has apologized for his role in West Virginia’s recent loss to Oklahoma State.
Fifth year guard Erik Stevenson, who was issued a technical foul and ultimately fouled out of Monday’s 67-60 setback against the Cowboys, said he regrets the way things unfolded in Stillwater.
“My actions did not represent this program the way it should be. I just want to apologize for that,” Stevenson said Friday. “I know how serious it is.”
Stevenson, who is West Virginia’s leading scorer, was issued a technical foul with 7:17 left in the game. After making a 3-pointer to give WVU a 53-51 lead, he was whistled for the technical after making an inappropriate gesture toward the crowd. He picked up a fifth foul, and was disqualified from the game, shortly after.
“I know my actions didn’t technically cost us the game, but prevented me from staying in and potentially helping us win,” Stevenson said. “It’s not something I do on a regular basis. I just want to clarify my apology for my actions, especially to the fan base and [head coach Bob Huggins].”
WVU trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half of the Oklahoma State game, and ultimately relinquished a narrow lead after Stevenson fouled out. After the game, his actions were heavily criticized by Huggins.
“I’ve had a lot of fiery guys, but I haven’t had any hurt their teammates,” Huggins said after Monday’s game. “That’s not right.”
But Friday, the hall of fame coach spoke more compassionately about the player, who has competed for four different Division I programs during his five-year collegiate career.
“He’s a good kid. He just gets a little carried away sometimes,” Huggins said. “Truth be known, we’ve all done dumb things…he made a bad mistake, so you acknowledge it and move on.”
WVU (10-4, 0-2) will gun for its first Big 12 win Saturday against No. 3 Kansas (13-1, 2-0), the reigning national champion. Stevenson appears eager to take on that challenge in front of a sold out Coliseum crowd.
“We have a [heck] of a fan base,” Stevenson said. “It’s going to be a [heck] of an environment and I think [it] will help us get back on track.”
The veteran guard added that he is still confident about this WVU team, despite its two-game skid to open league play.
“I still feel really good about us,” he said. “Just had a 2 game stretch where it seemed we couldn’t buy a bucket.”
WVU takes on Kansas Saturday at 6 p.m. The contest will stream live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.