MORGANTOWN — Some games are just not meant to be won, and if West Virginia's No. 17 women's team didn't believe that before they lost to Oklahoma, 73-49, in the Coliseum on Wednesday night, they do now.
The lesson was driven home when they spent the most frustrating night of most of their careers trying to make shots only to have them bounce off the rim, come up short, fly over the basket or simply disappear into the dark night.
Then, down 17, they stood there in horror and watched as Oklahoma's Taylor Robertson threw up a prayer just before the third quarter buzzer with the ball banking in off the backboard for a 3.
She is the nation's leader in 3-point shots made by a wide margin and it was her seventh of the game in 15 tries, a game in which she would finish 8-of-18 from 3 while scoring 31 points.
"It was just a lucky bounce," Robertson said. "I just threw it up there hoping to get fouled."
It was that way all night, and when Oklahoma coach Sherri Cole was asked about a team that makes nearly everything while the other team is so far off it can't dunk a donut into a cup of coffee, she replied graphically:
"Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug."
Mike Carey, WVU's coach, had a somewhat less graphic response to the same question.
"It's effort," he said. "I was concerned after the Texas game with no days off. We started off missing shots and we quit playing."
The WVU shooting was, shall we say kindly, awful.
The Mountaineers made just 14 baskets in the game — just four more than Robertson — and went a dismal 1-for-13 from 3, only avoiding being shut out in that category when Madisen Smith hit one in the fourth quarter with WVU's final attempt.
The Mountaineers shot 23.7 percent overall, mostly because their two top scorers could never find the range.
Tynice Martin missed her first nine shots and went 1-for-12 for the game, and Kysre Gondrezick went 3-for-13. They were averaging 16.8 and 17.9 points a game, respectively, but finished with eight points each.
"It happens," Martin said when asked to explain how two solid shooters can go so sour at once. "It was a team thing. None of our shots were going down."
It does happen, but explain how Robertson goes 8-for-18 on 3s and WVU goes 9-for-25 ... shooting layups.
"Defense would have kept us in the game, but that was something we lacked," Martin said.
That really frustrated Carey.
"Our emphasis was on the shooter (Robertson)," Carey said. "Our emphasis was on her and she gets 18 3s off. That's just not playing hard. That's the least energy I've seen from us in years. They played five times harder than us."
WVU's nine-game winning streak ended.
And wouldn't you just know it, their next game is Saturday on the road against No. 1 Baylor.
"The way we played tonight they might just send a plane for us," Carey said.
Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.